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      Exhibition

      Fashion & Design

      Ongoing

      Today's hours:

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      PEM’s Fashion & Design gallery invites visitors to consider that we are designing creatures who continually manipulate, respond to, and mold our changing world.

      Whether designing for self-adornment or for use, this installation unifies two traditionally disparate collecting fields to better understand what underlies our motivations and capacity for designing ourselves and the world around us.

      Ensembles from the Iris Apfel Rare Bird of Fashion collection celebrate the exuberant remixing and inventive styling of one of the world’s most prominent fashion icons, while constellations of unique and culturally significant works of design, fashion, and textiles explore distinctive and resourceful forms of creative expression.

      Also featured are nearly 40 recent acquisitions that spotlight the vibrant and flamboyant collection of Boston-based entrepreneur and fashion icon Yolanda Cellucci. Yolanda’s, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, became a hotspot for lavish evening and wedding ensembles and became a household name throughout the region and a shorthand for glitz and glamor in the late 20th century. Cellucci generously donated her collection of 57 works of fashion and accessories to PEM in 2021, along with archival photographs and materials related to the legacy of her bridal shop.

      Share your impressions on social media using the hashtag #PEMfashionanddesign

      Iris Apfel ensemble. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Bob Packert/PEM.

      Iris Apfel ensemble. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Bob Packert/PEM.

      Alexander McQueen, dress, designed 2007. Velvet, satin. Gift of anonymous donors in London. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM.

      Alexander McQueen, dress, designed 2007. Velvet, satin. Gift of anonymous donors in London. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM.

      Sebastian Errazuriz, 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers (The Gold Digger, The Heartbreaker, The Boss), 2013. 3d-printed abs plastic, resin, acrylic. Museum purchase. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Sebastian Errazuriz, 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers (The Gold Digger, The Heartbreaker, The Boss), 2013. 3d-printed abs plastic, resin, acrylic. Museum purchase. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Jonathan Peele Saunders and Samuel Field McIntire, sofa, 1815-1820. Mahogany. Gift of Mrs. Robert Johnston. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Dennis Helmar.

      Jonathan Peele Saunders and Samuel Field McIntire, sofa, 1815-1820. Mahogany. Gift of Mrs. Robert Johnston. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Dennis Helmar.

      Rico Lanaat’ Worl (Tlingit/Athabascan), skateboard deck, 2014. Wood, paint. Museum purchase. © Peabody Essex Museum.

      Rico Lanaat’ Worl (Tlingit/Athabascan), skateboard deck, 2014. Wood, paint. Museum purchase. © Peabody Essex Museum.

      American artist, dress, 1719. Wool, silk. Gift of Mrs. William C. West. © Peabody Essex Museum.

      American artist, dress, 1719. Wool, silk. Gift of Mrs. William C. West. © Peabody Essex Museum.

      Christian Louboutin, shoes, early 21st century. Gift of Joanna Prager Johnsen, Marcy Prager and Daniel Prager. © Peabody Essex Museum.

      Christian Louboutin, shoes, early 21st century. Gift of Joanna Prager Johnsen, Marcy Prager and Daniel Prager. © Peabody Essex Museum.

      © 2023 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      © 2023 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      © 2023 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      © 2023 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Petra Slinkard curator
      Play

      Curator tour

      Learn more about the Fashion & Design gallery in our curator interview with Petra Slinkard, PEM's Nancy B. Putnam Curator of Fashion and Textiles.

      Virtual gallery tour

      Click to embark on a 360° tour of PEM's Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery of Fashion & Design. Just click on the rings to move throughout the space and use your mouse or keyboard to zoom in/out and to look all around.

      Keep exploring

      PEM reinstalls Fashion & Design gallery to feature Boston entrepreneur Yolanda Cellucci

      Press Release

      PEM reinstalls Fashion & Design gallery to feature Boston entrepreneur Yolanda Cellucci

      Press Release

      PEM reinstalls Fashion & Design gallery to feature Boston entrepreneur Yolanda Cellucci

      Fashion & Textiles

      Collection

      Fashion and Textiles

      Collection

      Fashion and Textiles

      A woman wearing a golden plaid dress in front of a lake with the oceans in the background

      Past Exhibition

      Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion

      November 21, 2020 to March 14, 2021

      Past Exhibition

      Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion

      November 21, 2020 to March 14, 2021

      FAQs

      102-year-old Iris Apfel is an American sartorial superstar and global fashion icon known for her daring personal style and signature round glasses. She has been the subject of several museum exhibitions, a coffee-table book, a documentary, a campaign for MAC Cosmetics, and even had two Barbie™ dolls created in her likeness.

      PEM is honored to care for and present Iris Apfel’s Rare Bird of Fashion collection. In our Fashion & Design gallery, you can experience 13 full ensembles from the Apfels, 11 from Iris and 2 from her late husband, Carl. These ensembles will rotate on a regular basis to protect the garments from excessive light exposure and ensure that the installation stays lively and fresh. The Carl & Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery at PEM, given in loving memory of Iris’ parents Sam and Syd Barrel, is the largest known museum presentation of the Apfel collection currently on view.

      In 2009/2010, PEM was the final venue for the traveling exhibition, Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel. Iris loved PEM’s installation of her collection so much that at the exhibition’s close, she bequeathed her entire Rare Bird of Fashion collection to the museum (90 complete ensembles), thus igniting our fashion initiative. Since then, we have benefited greatly from Iris’s generosity as she continues to donate her clothing to the museum on an annual basis (over 1,000 individual pieces to date). In 2018 Iris enabled PEM to acquire pieces from her late husband Carl’s wardrobe, which was both an honor and a privilege for the museum.

      In 1968, entrepreneur Yolanda Cellucci entered Boston’s fashion scene and left a dazzling and indelible mark. The city’s retail fashion scene at the time was robust, so Cellucci forged a business model focused on women’s wear and self-care in a holistic, head-turning way. Her shop Yolanda’s, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, became a hotspot for lavish evening and wedding ensembles. In addition to offering high-profile American and international designs, the store provided style consultations, personal shopping, cosmetology services and a day spa with light refreshments — all under one roof. Throughout the late 20th century, Yolanda’s became a household name throughout the region and a shorthand for glitz and glamor.

      Luxury cars played an important role in Yolanda’s marketing strategies. She bought an Excalibur, a car introduced in 1965 that featured designs inspired by a late 1920s Mercedes-Benz. With a vanity license plate that read “Yolanda,” the car was her “billboard on wheels.” She made it available to brides and clients for special events, and eventually added sedan and limousine versions.

      Cellucci hosted fashion shows and galas benefiting charitable causes, showcasing her merchandise and raising funds for health, human services, arts and education. For more than 40 years, Yolanda’s was the place where “Where Beautiful Lifestyles Begin….”.

      In 2021, Cellucci generously donated her collection of 57 works of fashion and accessories to PEM, along with archival photographs and materials related to the legacy of Yolanda’s. PEM is honored to care for and present the Yolanda Cellucci collection. In our Fashion & Design gallery, you can experience nearly 40 acquisitions representing the vibrant and flamboyant designer collection of this Boston-based entrepreneur. From couture gowns to more affordable ready-to-wear lines for day and evening wear, Cellucci brought Bob Mackie’s legendary designs to her clients in New England. Also on view are fantastical headpieces worn by models in the shop’s fashion shows – designer Carol Salemi found inspiration in local and international landmarks and attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Boston’s Swan Boats.

      The Yolanda fashion collection and its associated archive in the Phillips Library open a window into Boston’s fashion history during the late 20th century, a time noted for flamboyant, luxurious and quickly evolving styles. The collection introduces works by several designers not previously represented in the PEM collection, including fashion legend Bob Mackie, bridal designer Monique L’huillier and pageant designer Stephen Yearick. It also introduces museum audiences to a fashion entrepreneur with a savvy approach to marketing, a full-throttle sense of style and a vision to use fashion and philanthropy to build community and social life in Boston.