Begun in 1985 at the inspiration of Viscountess Harriett de Rosiere, the National Costume Collection of Northwood University is a living museum of textiles, costumes, European haute couture, and fine American design c. 1900 to c. 2000.
Under Beth’s guidance, the Collection acquired its initial lot of 350 pieces of apparel from the private collections of notable women worldwide — including Marylou Whitney, Judy Peabody, Deeda Blair, Carolina Herrera, Nan Kempner, Greer Garson, Anne Getty, Jane Murchison Haber, Mary McFadden, HSH Princess Peggy d’Arenberg, and Eleanor Lambert, founder of the International Best Dressed List.
The Collection is strongly representative of work produced between the late 1940s and the late 1970s by Balenciaga, Balmain, Chanel, Courreges, Dior, Givenchy, Madame Gres, Lanvin, Mainbocher, Norrell, and Schiaparelli. One of its most valued early gifts is an opulent ball gown c. 1950 designed by “America’s First Couturier,” Charles James. During her formal association with the Collection, Beth curated and produced short-run exhibits in New York, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Houston — each focusing on a design period or designer’s inspiration. Today, with more than 2,000 pieces in inventory, the Collection continues as a responsible repository of vintage and contemporary apparel, and a source of loans to exhibitions staged by museums throughout the U.S.
Beth Sanders Moore is Founding Director of the Northwood University National Costume Collection that houses French haute couture and fine American design c.1900 to c.2000.

Image: © Northwood University (Courtesy Image)

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