NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Peabody Essex Museum hosts exhibit focused on female designers

The Peabody Essex Museum, located in Salem, Massachusetts, is currently hosting an exhibit that showcases fashion trends and statements throughout the decades, putting a spotlight on female designers.

The exhibit, entitled Made It: The Women who Revolutionized Fashion, is set to be on display through March 14.

Upon entering, a few paragraphs on walls painted black states how 2020 marks the 100-year anniversary of the 19th. Amendment, which allowed women to vote. Since then, women everywhere have made impressive strides in countless fields, one of which being fashion.

Beginning in 1675, women started to break the gender norms of the time, entering an era where women had more freedom over their clothing. Ever since, women like Gabrielle Chanel, Betsey Johnson, Donna Karan and many more have been a huge staple in fashion.

The exhibit features 107 works in total and is in partnership with the Kunstmuseum in the Netherlands. As you walk through the exhibit past the assemblage of stunning clothing and inspiring quotes from fashion icons and moguls adorning the walls, it feels as though you’re passing through time. It is evident that the overall design of the exhibit is pieced together so seamlessly, and each era of clothing sparks a new conversation.

“I hope that people are struck by how deep and rich women’s history is and how intertwined it is with fashion history and the evolution of the industry,” says P.E.M’s Director of Curatorial Affairs, Petra Slinkard. “I also hope that people make personal connections and see themselves or someone they love and respect in the narrative. I hope people leave feeling inspired and hungry for more information [as well].”

“The Women who Revolutionized Fashion” does exactly that, it’s hard not to leave thinking how these remarkable women have played a role in all of our lives. They’ve shaped the industry into what it is today, a place where anyone and everyone is welcome, and women are in control of their own individual styles.