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Virtual Lecture: Fabricating Fashion



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  • Free, registration required

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Join Melinda Watt, chair and Christa C. Mayer Thurman Curator of Textiles, and Monika Bincsik, curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as they discuss Fabricating Fashion and the strategies Bincsik and Watt have employed for exhibiting clothing and textiles to highlight that fashion in locations around the globe shows mutual interrelationships.

Textiles are fundamentally important in creating silhouette and aesthetics, the final design is determined by the fabric’s unique qualities. Fabricating Fashion celebrates the many makers of these fabrics—from the professionally trained to the self-taught. In doing so, the exhibition invites us to consider the political, cultural, and social significance of fashion and contemplate what own fabric choices say.

About the Speakers


Monika Bincsik is the Diane and Arthur Abbey Associate Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 2008 to 2009 she was a Jane and Morgan Whitney Research Fellow. Later she worked as a research associate at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, where she earned a second PhD on Japanese lacquers. From 2013 to 2015 she was an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at The Met and became assistant curator in 2015, then associate curator in 2018. She has organized numerous exhibitions for the museum, notably Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection (2022); Kyoto: Capital of Artistic Imagination (2019); Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection (2017); and Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and the Met (2015). She has published extensively on Japanese decorative arts and collecting history, recently in Kimono Style: Edo Traditions to Modern Design (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2022) and The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2019).  

Photograph of chair and curator Melinda Watt.

Melinda Watt leads the Art Institute’s Textiles department as Chair and Christa C. Mayer Thurman Curator, a role she assumed in 2018. She served as curator for the exhibition Morris & Co.: The Business of Beauty (2021–22) and for the current Fabricating Fashion: Textiles for Dress, 1700–1825 (2022). Before joining the Art Institute, Watt was curator of European textiles and supervising curator of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She was a curator and author for the museum-wide collaborative exhibition and publication Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800 (2013-14), and in 2008 she received the R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award for co-authoring and co-editing English Embroidery from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580–1700: ‘Twixt Art and Nature. Melinda holds a master of arts in costume studies from New York University.

Please note that all event times listed are in central time.

We recommend using a laptop or desktop computer and downloading the latest version of Zoom to enjoy this program. You can submit questions for the speakers in advance or during the program using the Google Form below.

If you have any questions about virtual programming, please reach out to

Closed captioning will be available for this program. For questions related to accessibility accommodations, please email


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