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Exhibition: The Traphagen School: Fostering American Fashion — Closes

March 30, 2019

Grenelle-Estevez, evening set, circa 1957, Gift of Sylvia Levine.
Grenelle-Estévez, evening set, circa 1957, gift of Sylvia Levine.

March 5–30, 2019 
Gallery FIT

The Traphagen School: Fostering American Fashion explores the legacy of one of the first institutions dedicated to educating fashion industry professionals in New York City. The impact of the school, in operation from 1923 to 1991, will be explored through an introduction to founder Ethel Traphagen, the main philosophies of the school, and its lasting influence. Highlights include ensembles by Geoffrey Beene and Anne Klein, evening wear by Luis Estévez and James Galanos, and illustrations by Antonio Lopez.

This exhibition, the first dedicated to the school, will focus on the Traphagen methods of design-by-adaptation and experimentation, both of which are still used in design education and the fashion industry today. The Traphagen School also includes never-before-seen garments from the school’s study collection, as well as photographs, publications, and advertisements that chronicle the creative environment that Ethel Traphagen created for her students.

This exhibition is curated and organized by students in the Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice MA program in the School of Graduate Studies.


March 30, 2019
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Gallery FIT, The Museum at FIT
Fashion Institute of Technology
New York City, NY 10001 United States
212 217.4558


Fashion and Textile Studies
212 217.4300