The Museum at FIT (MFIT) is best known for its innovative and award winning special exhibitions, including London Fashion, which received the first Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume from the Costume Society of America; The Corset: Fashioning the Body, which explored the most controversial garment in the history of fashion; and Madame Grès: The Sphinx of Fashion, a monographic retrospective that examined the working methodologies and unique aesthetic contributions of a great couturier. Recently, the Museum has been mounting even more ambitious exhibitions, such as Gothic: Dark Glamour and A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk.
The museums permanent collection encompasses some 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present. Important designers such as Adrian, Balenciaga, Chanel, and Dior are represented. The collecting policy of the museum focuses on aesthetically and historically significant directional clothing, accessories, textiles and visual materials, with emphasis on contemporary avant-garde fashion.