The objects selected for this installation are the products of many diverse cultures, and include an Indonesian ikat man's mantle and a child’s rain cape of knotted coir made by the Miao people of southwestern China. They were created for varied reasons: a mid-nineteenth century album quilt served as a token of friendship; a nineteenth-century Japanese robe was a costume for Nō theater; and a hose supporter from about 1905 held up a woman’s stockings. A wide variety of textile techniques are represented, as seen in a tapestry-woven wool blanket made in Peru; a Pakistani tunic with mirror-work embroidery; and a block-printed Wiener Werkstätte fabric.
The garments in the exhibition range from haute couture—a feather-trimmed ensemble from around 1890 by John Redfern and Sons of Paris and a sequined 1982 Givenchy evening gown—to a "deconstructed" dress from 2000 by Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons. Textile examples include a Burmese kalaga
(appliqué hanging), American samplers, and a resist-dyed ndop
cloth from Cameroon. Also on view are a pair of Vivienne Westwood's extreme platform shoes, a girl's hoop skirt from the 1860s, and a variety of headwear, footwear, bags, and other accessories.