Ann Lowe: American Couturier @ Winterthur
In 1964, The Saturday Evening Post referred to fashion designer Ann Lowe as "Society's Best-Kept Secret." Although Lowe had been designing couture-quality gowns for America's most prominent debutantes, heiresses, actresses, and society brides,including Jacqueline Kennedy, Olivia de Havilland, and Marjorie Merriweather Post,she remained virtually unknown to the wider public. Since then, too little recognition has been given to her influence on American fashion.
Ann Lowes recently emerging visibility as a designer stands in contrast to much of her career and the countless unrecognized Black dressmakers and designers who have contributed to American fashion for generations, including her own grandmother and mother. She blazed a path for others to follow and her legacy is still felt in fashion culture.
This is the largest exhibition of Ann Lowe's work to date, featuring 40 iconic gowns, many that have never been on public display, and it will illuminate her evolution as a designer from the 1920s to the 1960s. The exhibition will also feature the work of contemporary couturiers and fashion designers whose current design practices, perspectives, and career paths reflect the trajectory of American fashion emanating from Lowe's foundation. These include B Michael, Tracy Reese, Amsale Aberra, and Bishme Cromartie. Elizabeth Way, associate curator at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, is guest curator of the exhibition.