Please Note: The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for participation on all tours; additionally, current CDC and Smithsonian COVID-19 guidelines (at the time of the tour) will be followed, including but not limited to masks on the bus and indoors.
Splendid style is on the Manhattan itinerary when you take in fashion-focused exhibitions at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Met’s Costume Institute, and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, led by design historian Elizabeth Lay.
With a permanent collection encompassing some 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present, the Museum at FIT is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the history of fashion—and its directions for the future. The trend-setting glamour of two of the most influential French designers of the 20th century is spotlighted in the special exhibition Balenciaga + Dior: The Kings of Couture and Their Legacies.
Lay leads tours of a pair of exhibitions that mark the 75th anniversary of the Met’s Costume Institute. Together, they explore how the evolution of American fashion reflects how we view ourselves and our national culture. In America: A Lexicon of Fashion in the Anna Wintour Costume Center brings together approximately 100 men’s and women’s ensembles by a diverse range of designers from the 1940s to the present. Selected period rooms in the Met’s American Wing are the setting for In America: An Anthology of Fashion, which uses vignettes of domestic life highlighting men’s and women’s fashions to address the complex and layered history of the rooms, which span the early 19th century to 1915.
A Cooper Hewitt curator guides a visit to Duro Olowu Selects, the latest in the museum’s exhibition series that invites designers, writers, and cultural figures to explore and interpret objects in the museum’s permanent collection. The Nigerian British designer’s choices highlights the theme of pattern and repetition throughout the collection, demonstrating how designers, artists, and makers have relied on pattern to express ideas, preserve heritage, capture attention, and construct objects and environments.
Even the tour’s hotel has style with participants staying at the Art Deco-era Hotel Edison in the heart of the Theater District. The location is perfect for visiting the TKTS booth for discount tickets to a show on your free Sunday evening.
Lay is the curator at Montgomery History’s Beall Dawson House and Stonestreet Museum in Rockville, Maryland. She is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, teaching courses on women designers of the 20th century and 20th century costume.
- Cost includes bus transportation, lodging, all activities, services of a Study Leader and Representative, admissions and fees, gratuities, and following meals: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner.
- Tour meets and departs by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut Ave. and DeSales St., NW., with a pickup stop at I-495 exit 27 carpool lot at about 8:25 a.m.
- Single-room supplement $120 (factored into the Single Room Member and Single Room Non-Member pricing).
- Singles registering at the double-room rate are paired (on a nonsmoking basis) if possible, but must pay the single-room supplement otherwise.
- Detailed information is emailed to registrants about four weeks prior to departure.
- Registrants may want to consider purchasing trip insurance.
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