Three dresses in Fashioning San Francisco de Young exhibition

Selection from Fashioning San Francisco. Photographed by Randy Dodson

Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style

Explore the history of San Francisco through fashion. Featuring one of the most iconic collections of 20th- and 21st-century women’s clothing in the United States, this exhibition includes 100 collection highlights, along with local loans of high fashion and haute couture. The first major presentation of our costume collection in over 35 years, it showcases designs from French couturiers, Japanese avant-garde designers, and other pillars of the fashion industry, including Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, Christopher John Rogers, Comme des Garçons, and Rodarte. The designs on view, many never shown before, reflect San Francisco’s long-standing tradition of self-expression through fashion.

Exhibition preview

In depth

In San Francisco — a city with a vibrant history of embracing radical clothing styles — fashion mavericks have perennially supported boundary-pushing designers. These advocates include retailers, such as Susan Foslien, Sherri McMullen, or the Ospital family of Modern Appealing Clothing (MAC); individuals like Georgette “Dodie” Rosekrans, who famously financed John Galliano’s early collections; and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which preserve designers’ legacies in their permanent collection. Today, the Museums’ collection boasts avant-garde creations by the Japanese fashion designers Rei Kawakubo, Kei Ninomiya, Junya Watanabe, and Yohji Yamamoto as well as European innovators like Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Alexander McQueen.

AR Experience

Have you ever wished you could try on the fashions you see in museum exhibitions? Well, now you can. Snapchat Augmented Reality Mirrors let you try on three iconic looks from our collection. The outfits, featured in Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style, include a 1955 “Soirée de Paris” dress by Yves Saint Laurent, a 1985 lamé outfit by San Francisco–designer Kaisik Wong, and a 1987 velvet gown by Valentino.

Lights, camera, fashion! Strike a pose and share your glam moments with us using #FashioningSF and @deyoungmuseum (Instagram) or (TikTok).

Developed by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in partnership with Snapchat.

In the news

  • A deep-dive into women’s local fashion history through the work of over 50 fashion designers.

    Jamie Ferrell, Secret San Francisco
  • There are iconic looks — both for day and evening, as well as shoes — from Jeanne Lanvin to Karl Lagerfeld . . . not to mention a cache of lesser known talents who will have you googling like crazy to learn more.

    Mark Holgate, Vogue
  • This exhibition aims to prove ‘San Francisco does, and has always had, style.’

    Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle





This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Presenting Sponsor
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn

Lead Sponsor
The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
Diane B. Wilsey

Major Support
Yurie and Carl Pascarella
Denise Littlefield Sobel
Christine Suppes

Significant Support
The Diana Dollar Knowles Foundation
Carole McNeil

Generous Support
Lorna Meyer Calas and Dennis Calas
Textile Arts Council of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Additional support is provided by Sandra Bessières, Dr. Roger Budge and Ms. Leslee Jane Budge, The Mary A. Crocker Trust, Dana and Gregory Lee - Ted and Doris Lee Family Foundation, Cathy and Howard Moreland, Jan and Bob Newman, and Gwynned Vitello.

AR Partner

Also on view