Pockets to Purses: Fashion + Function

Pockets and purses provide immediate access to personal possessions, satisfying the need to carry money and other useful objects. They can also display luxury or emphasize fashionable gestures. 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 was organized by the graduate students in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s MA program in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice, with the support of Sarah Byrd, Keren Ben-Horin, and Emma McClendon.


The Museum at FIT, March 6, 2018 - March 31, 2018 - Instructor