In May, three Fashion Design students were recognized at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for a dress commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. As part of a celebration for the Costume Institute’s current exhibition at The Met, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, Met curators selected 10 outfits to be fabricated from preliminary designs submitted by college and graduate students around the U.S. Among their selections was a gown designed collaboratively by Sally Li, Glen Roh, and Asalya Samieva, all fourth-semester students.
The dress is based on the shirtwaist silhouette, and incorporates tulle and organza. The skirt consists of bubble patchworks made from shirting fabric encased with chiffon. These “life bubbles” display the names and ages of the 146 victims of the 1911 Triangle Fire.
For The Met’s In America show, garments are organized into sections that explore emotional qualities, such as delight, joy, wonder, and consciousness. The FIT team chose the quality of “consciousness” because, as they wrote in their project proposal, the outfit is intended to raise awareness of “the impact the fashion industry had in American labor history. … Our design is a wearable monument to honor the individuals who changed the fashion industry for the betterment of all of us in America.”
The Met displayed the 10 styles at the museum’s College Night, which was held May 10. Attendees could vote on their favorite design, and the FIT students’ dress won the Fan Favorite Award. Assistant Professor Su Ku advised the students on their submission and served as the main faculty advisor. Adjunct Professor Steven Schacht also served as an advisor for the project.