6abc Loves the Arts: Philly Museum of Art gets Fabulous for fashion

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has become home to high fashion just in time for the holidays.

The exhibition is called Fabulous Fashion and it explores pieces of couture from the museum's permanent collection, designed over a period of more than 70 years.

"This exhibition really doesn't just look at the chronology and the history of it, but "really highlights some of the most iconic and most significant pieces, explains Philadelphia Museum of Art Curator Kristina Haugland."

From a collection of 30,000 items, the museum chose just 80 to feature.

"Many of the pieces have never been seen before," Haugland says.

They're organized by theme, "Shape and volume, color and pattern, embellishment, drape, metallic, and bridal," Haugland says.

And the designs are stunning-starting with a 1948 dress by Christian Dior.

"A long skirt, very full nipped-in waist, rounded shoulders," Haugland says. "That was very different then the wartime fashions right before that."

The curator juxtaposed that 1948 dress with one Dior designed 50 years later.

"This hot pink very flirtatious suit represents a very different era and time and female aesthetic," Haugland explains.

There's a 1990 cat suit by Christian Lacroix.

"It's printed with this wild pattern that's almost psychedelic and inspired by exotic fish and butterflies," Haugland says.

And there's a 'daring for its time' dress created by Philadelphia-born designer James Galanos.

"Very slinky from 1957 that is completely made of beads of different textures," Haugland says, "and it's just incredible."

There's a dress from 1966 stitched together without sewing.

"It's all made of plastic discs linked by little metal rings," Haugland says.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has in its collection Grace Kelly's iconic bridal gown, but it's too fragile to be displayed. The exhibition does, however, feature the accessories she wore for her wedding.

"I'm really trying to bring out both the creativity of fashion but also the connections between pieces," Haugland says.

Fabulous Fashion: From Dior's New Look to Now
The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Through March 3
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
215-763-8100
The Arts in Philly | Twitter | Fabulous Fashion