Pockets to Purses: Fashion + Function is organized by graduate students in FIT’s Fashion and Textile Studies program. The exhibition will explore the history of pockets and purses as fashionable and functional objects that have evolved to accommodate the demands of modern life.
Arranged chronologically, a selection of objects from the collection of The Museum at FIT will analyze the interplay between pockets and purses in both men’s and women’s wardrobes from the eighteenth century to the present. Themes of public versus private, fashion versus function, and masculine versus feminine will be explored through garments, accessories, fashion plates, and video footage. Highlights include an early nineteenth century reticule fashioned from a man’s waistcoat pocket, a 1930’s Cartier clutch, a Bonnie Cashin raincoat, and an Hermés Kelly Bag.
Pockets to Purses: Fashion + Function will be the first exhibition to examine both men’s and women’s pockets and bags in tandem. It will highlight their overlapping history, clarifying the relationship between pocket and purse for a wide audience. The diversity of objects will demonstrate how pockets and purses were have been utilized throughout history and how lifestyle changes have affected their design and use. This exhibition will encourage visitors to see the significance of these familiar, but dynamic objects.