Follow the Thread

a textile & costume history blog from the Design Center at Thomas Jefferson University

This Just In!


Cocktail dress by Arnold Scaasi, 1980s, T&CC 1997.14.1

∼ by Jade Papa

Just in time for the spring semester, we’ve uploaded a new batch of womenswear to our online collection.  These pieces, many of which have never been offered digitally, date from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s and represent only a small portion of the Textile & Costume Collection’s vast holdings of 19th and 20th century fashion. 

You can check out some marvelous knit pieces by Italian brand Missoni.  This three-piece knit plaid ensemble is a Design Center staff favorite:

Knit ensemble by Missoni, mid-1960s to mid-1970s, T&CC 1987.12.1a-c

Find these womenswear garments by searching for the designer’s name.  For instance, type in “Yves Saint Laurent” and you’ll find these gems:

It’s not surprising that shoulder pads feature prominently in our garments from the 1980s, as seen in these examples from Chloé, Krizia, and Holly Harp.

When browsing the collection, you might discover some lesser-known designers like Jeanne Marc of San Francisco:

Make sure to scroll through and check out the detail shots.  The collar on this Gianfranco Ferré is a fashion draping puzzle just waiting to be figured out! 

Anyway you find them, enjoy!  And remember, if you want to come in for a closer look at any of these pieces, you can always email to make an appointment to see them in-person. 

Search tip

Try searching these designers:

  • Laura Aponte
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Bill Blass
  • Chanel
  • Chloé
  • Wayne Clark
  • Gianfranco Ferré
  • Gucci
  • Halston
  • Holly Harp
  • Krizia
  • Karl Lagerfeld
  • Guy Laroche
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Mary McFadden
  • Jeanne Marc
  • Missoni
  • Issey Miyake
  • Hanae Mori
  • Oscar de la Renta
  • Sonia Rykiel
  • Arnold Scaasi
  • Willi Smith
  • Emanuel Ungaro
  • Valentino

Dress by Arnold Scaasi, 1975-85, T&CC 1997.14.17

Curator and Adjunct Professor, Textile & Costume Collection, The Design Center, Thomas Jefferson University

Images of objects in our collection are copyrighted by Thomas Jefferson University. For inquiries regarding permissions and use fees, please contact: