Fashion Innovation at Your Finger Tips

As one of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's distinguished SAIC's Special Collections, the Fashion Resource Center (FRC) maintains a unique hands-on collection of late 20th- and 21st-century designer garments and accessories representing extreme innovation.

Its singular nature is defined not only by the visitor's ability to handle the apparel but also by the extensive visual, print, and fabric reference collection that supports and illuminates the garments and the study of attire. These elements combine to provide students and guests with a creative and educational environment in which to explore the most progressive achievements in the world of dress and fashion.

Housed in the FRC's non-circulating research setting are 3,200 fashion publications, scholarly texts, and contemporary designer biographies and interviews. To encourage an understanding of various designers' intentions, the collection includes more than 800 garments and accessories for examination, with special emphasis on advances in design and construction. Also available for viewing is an expanding collection of 800 videos of ready-to-wear and couture runway presentations, technical instruction, interviews, fashion history, and annual student fashion shows.

Rare books are shelved along side up-to-the moment publications on dress and exhibition and more than 25 current fashion and lifestyle magazine subscriptions. In addition, the FRC archives vintage magazines from the 1890's to the present, foundation garments, 19th century lingerie, uniforms and occupational dress, as well as dictionaries, encyclopedias, look books, articles, and a collection of new materials and vintage fabrics.

Tour the Fashion Resource Center

In addition to use by SAIC faculty, students, and staff, the FRC is open for individual research visits, organization meetings, and group retreats or events by advance appointments. Research visits include a brief introduction to the collection and "Tailor Made" tours follow a specific discussion topic of your choice such as the origins of Japanese avant garde, the lines of postmodern designs, artists who consider dress as metaphor, or techniques of construction. We will also select relevant garments and an array of supporting materials for your examination.

One to one-and-a-half-hour "Tailor Made" tours are limited to no more than 12 guests. A donation is required for these special presentations and visits.

Group Tour $125
Organizations and Corporations $275
Individual Research Visit $20

Schedule Your Tour Today!

For an appointment and to make group arrangements for a "Tailor Made" tour, please contact the Fashion Resource Center office at frc@saic.edu or 312.629.6731.