Five Amazing Things in FIT’s Library—Available Everywhere

This is Gladys Marcus. Read more about her here.

In this unprecedented moment, when no one can know for sure what will happen next, FIT’s extended community is mostly at home, looking for online distractions from social isolation. The Gladys Marcus Library offers a cornucopia of fantastic digital resources.

Here are five things you can do via FIT’s library, right now. 

    • Find out how the industry is responding to the coronavirus. FIT’s librarians created a page devoted to information about how the pandemic has affected the fashion and design industries. Check out the free “Fear into Fuel” webinars sponsored by the trend forecasting company Fashion Snoops. (The library has also organized an additional site of free—or mostly free—cultural offerings available online. They include an interactive project to design your own 18th-century wig, created by London’s storied Victoria and Albert Museum.)
  • Use augmented reality to “try on” historical garments—hats, scarves, earrings, and more—featured in original fashion sketches taken from FIT’s Special Collections! Note that this activity does not require you to download an app, and is best experienced on a smartphone. Check it out here: Then share your selfies with the hashtag #SPARCfittingroom!
Influential menswear designer (and alumna) Jhane Barnes created this suit.
  • Download thousands of fashion-related images from FITDIL, FIT’s Digital Image Library. It features images of faculty work, student work, designer files, runway shows, Special Collections materials, and more—like this outfit (at right) by alumna Jhane Barnes, from the days when style called for dramatically large shoulders.

  • Watch exclusive video content. The library’s video resource, Archive on Demand, is a rabbit hole of fantastic programs, exclusive to FIT. Try these on for size:
    1. American History professor Daniel Levinson Wilk interviews Oscar-winning filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea, You Can Count on Me);
    2. A true classic, this “so vintage” video produced by FIT in 1982 demonstrates basic draping—and is still used today;
    3. Ocean Vuong, critically praised poet and best-selling novelist (On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous), gives a reading at FIT.
  • Women’s Wear Daily featured designer Sally Victor’s hats on their cover on December 16, 1941.

    Learn about one American milliner’s response to World War II (and so much more). Material Mode is the blog for the library’s Special Collections unit. It’s written by April Calahan, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice MA alum. She recently published a post on designer Sally Victor’s “emergency style.” (And don’t miss the popular podcast, Dressed, that Calahan hosts with fellow alumna Cassidy Zachary. Among recent treats from the show: An interview with the costume designer for Downton Abbey.) 


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