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The Costume Institute to exhibit items from prolific fashion collector

By Robyn Turk


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Sandy Schreier might not be a household name, yet she is the subject of a forthcoming exhibition held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

A fashion historian and couture collector, Schreier will loan 80 pieces from her 165-piece collection to the museum for its showing of "In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection." Schreier sees herself as a "fashion savior," as she told The New York Times. She began collecting at a young age, when her father worked at the Russeks department store in Detroit.

Amassed over several decades, Schreier's collection spans 96 years of fashion history. It has grown into one of the most celebrated private couture collections in the world, comprised of pieces by Fortuny, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior, Jean Lanvin and many pieces by Elsa Schiaparelli, among others. Items in the collection have been worn by fashion icons including Twiggy, Matilda Dodge Wilson and Rita Hayworth.

Schreier, who has written two books on fashion history, previously Schiaparelli lent items to The Met for its 2012 exhibition, "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations."

“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," Schreier told The New York Times. "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.”

The collector also told the newspaper that she does not wear any of her exquisitely preserved pieces as she considers her fashion as art. She explained that if she owned a work by Picasso, "it would not be on my back."

"In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection" will be on view from November 27 to May 17.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sandy Schreier
The Costume Institute