Exhibition

Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion

On view November 21, 2020 to March 14, 2021

Timed tickets are required for this exhibition. Please visit pem.org/tickets and after selecting General Admission, make sure to add your desired exhibition(s) to your visit.


Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion showcases more than 100 works, spanning 250 years, recognizing women's often-overlooked contributions to the fashion and design industry. From Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress to Elsa Schiaparelli and Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, to experimental labels like Chromat, women designers have transcended genres and revolutionized ideas of identity.

Made It features show-stopping ensembles, street fashion, ready-to-wear, and haute couture that illuminate issues of representation, creativity, consumption, transculturation, and distinctiveness which have and continue to impact the fashion industry.

Share your impressions with us on social media using #MadeItFashion

Section 1: Breaking In

Section 2: Gaining Momentum

Section 3: Seismic Shifts

Section 4: Making Choices

Section 5: Designing for Change



Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion has been organized in association with Kunstmuseum Den Haag. Leslie and Angus Littlejohn, Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., Jennifer and Andrew Borggaard, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Kate and Ford O'Neil, Henry and Callie Brauer and Chip and Susan Robie provided generous support. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum. Additional support provided by MR. SID, Inc.

TOP IMAGE: Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock), For J. Okuma, Dress, 2018. Museum purchase, made possible by the Anna Pingree Phillips Acquisition Fund. 2020.4.1. Courtesy of Jamie Okuma. Photo by Cameron Linton. Model: Corel Taylor.

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Media Partners:

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Reserve Your Timed Tickets Now

“The point of 'Made It' isn’t to celebrate uncomplicated beauty so much as it is to pay homage to the revolutionary beauty that overcame mountains of complications — social, political, economic — to thrive and empower women from one generation to the next.” - The Boston Globe

"Went today. GREAT exhibit and wonderful safety precautions. Thank you PEM!" - Tricia M., Facebook

"If you’re someone who thinks of fashion as frivolous, you may be overlooking the fact that it’s a global industry with a net worth that hovers between $1.9 and $2.5 trillion and employs millions of people. Or perhaps you’re just reacting to a sexist snare: When women show an interest in fashion, we may inadvertently signal a lack of interest in matters of consequence." - Ms. Magazine

"It was amazing!! We went today and loved it! Even my husband loved it!!" - Lyn N., Facebook

  1. Publications \\ Exhibition Catalogue
    The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion: 250 Years of Design

    Visit the PEM Shop in person or online at pemshop.com to purchase the exhibition catalogue.

    Shop Now

Related \\ Connected

Keeping it local

Events \\ Virtual Conversation

The Life and Impact of Calendar Girl Ruth Finley

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7 pm

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The woman behind the brand

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A look into how it’s made

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The fine art of window dressing

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Women who made it

Press \\ Press Release

PEM Celebrates 250 Years of Female Designers Challenging Fashion Norms and Fighting for Opportunity