The exhibition features approximately 80 of the 165 promised gifts, selected from Schreier’s extensive collection by Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute; and Jessica Regan, Associate Curator. On view in The Costume Institute’s Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries, the show will feature womenswear, accessories, and fashion illustrations dating from a 1908 Pochoir album, Les Robes de Paul Poiret, developed in collaboration with Paul Iribe, to a 2004 Phillip Treacy butterfly hat.
“Sandy’s incredibly generous gift will strengthen our collection immeasurably through the addition of historically significant pieces of 20th-century fashion,” said Mr. Bolton. “Amassed through a deep passion for the art of fashion—as well as sheer determination—Sandy’s gift will introduce rare designs into our holdings, allowing us to tell a more nuanced story of fashion history through the achievements of its most innovative designers.”
Ms. Schreier’s interest in fashion began in childhood, when she accompanied her father to work at Russeks, the Detroit branch of the New York specialty store, where she met some of the city’s most fashionable women. Seeing Ms. Schreier’s enthusiasm for dress, these women began gifting her pieces of their couture, which she preserved rather than wore.
“I always saw myself as a fashion savior,” said Ms. Schreier. “My passion for fashion as an art form drove me to search for the most innovative, creative, and breathtaking objects by well-known and lesser-known talents. I am elated that these pieces will now live on as my legacy at The Met, where they can be conserved and shared with the public, designers, and scholars for eternity.”
Ms. Schreier collected iconic works by designers long recognized for their leading roles in shaping the direction of fashion, as well as innovative couturiers often underrepresented in museum collections, such Boué Soeurs, Madeleine & Madeleine, and Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix.
“Sandy showed remarkable vision in preserving modern fashion at a time when few collectors appreciated it as an art form,” commented Ms. Regan. “The exceptional objects in this gift reflect the discriminating eye and extraordinary dedication of a lifelong collector.”
Designers whose works will be included in the exhibition include Gilbert Adrian, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Pierre Balmain, Boué Soeurs, Gabrielle Chanel, Jean Dessès, Christian Dior, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, Maria Monaci Gallenga, Jacques Griffe, Charles James, Stephen Jones, Patrick Kelly, Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld (for Chloé and his own label), Jeanne Lanvin, Le Monnier, Lucien Lelong, Madeleine & Madeleine, Isaac Mizrahi, Franco Moschino, Ana de Pombo (for House of Paquin), Paul Poiret, Paul Iribe (for Poiret), Georges Lepape (for Poiret), Zandra Rhodes, Roberto Rojas, Christian Francis Roth, Elsa Schiaparelli, Stephen Sprouse, Philip Treacy, Jessie Franklin Turner, Valentina, and Madeleine Vionnet.