Dresses as Modern Art from the MET Costume Institute: Post 1950

Click here for Part I – Exquisite Dresses From the MET Costume Institute: Pre-1950

I find it fascinating to watch the evolution of fashion through the decades, as the role and freedoms of women change and progress. It is clear to see that fashion has become less about purely adornment, but more experimental in terms of silhouettes, textiles, embellishments and colours, to reflect the changing paradigms and integration of cultures in society as a whole.

You can find photos and details of the full collection of more than 35 000 fashion pieces dating as far back as the 15th century on the MET Costume Institute’s site. Here are just some of my favourite finds from the archives of the second half of the 20th century.

Design House: Lanvin-Castillo (French, active 1950–62), Designer: Antonio del Castillo (Spanish, Madrid 1908–1984), Date: 1954–55, Culture: French, Medium: silk, net

Design House: House of Balmain (French, founded 1945), Designer: Pierre Balmain (French, St. Jean de Maurienne 1914–1982 Paris), Date: fall/winter 1954–55, Culture: French, Medium: silk, glass, shells

Designer: James Galanos (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1924–2016 West Hollywood, California), Date: fall/winter 1963–64, Culture: American, Medium: feathers

Designer: Emanuel Ungaro (French, born 1933), Date: 1966–68, Culture: French, Medium: nylon (probably)

Designer: Zandra Rhodes (British, born 1940), Date: 1975, Culture: British, Medium: silk, plastic

Design House: Yves Saint Laurent, Paris (French, founded 1961), Designer: Yves Saint Laurent (French (born Algeria) Oran 1936–2008 Paris), Date: fall/winter 1975–76, Culture: French, Medium: silk

Designer: Zandra Rhodes (British, born 1940), Date: ca. 1983, Culture: British, Medium: silk, plastic, synthetic

Design House: Oscar de la Renta, Ltd. (American, founded 1965), Designer: Oscar de la Renta (American (born Dominican Republic), Santo Domingo 1932–2014 Kent, Connecticut), Date: 1988, Culture: American, Medium: silk

Designer: Issey Miyake (Japanese, born 1938), Design House: Miyake Design Studio (Japanese), Date: spring/summer 1994, Culture: Japanese, Medium: polyester

Design House: Gianni Versace (Italian, founded 1978), Designer: Gianni Versace (Italian, 1946–1997), Date: spring/summer 1991, Culture: Italian, Medium: silk, glass

Images via www.metmuseum.org

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