Peabody Essex follows a feminist thread through fashion history
"From past to present to what feels like the future, 'Made It!' throws, finally, to what that better world might look like with five designers busy breaking new ground: Natalie Chanin, who bucked convention by going home to Florence, Ala., to reactivate dozens of out-of-work textile plant employees left high and dry when the local Tee Jays factory went bust in 2005. She’s presented alongside the Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock designer Jamie Okuma, with a remarkable dress composed of uncut squares of fabric to eliminate waste; Dutch material genius Iris van Herpen, who makes improbable garments from impossible things; the Greek designer Mary Katrantzou; and Detroit-based Tracy Reese. The final sense is of an industry evolving, as it always has, in parallel with women’s ambition, though no longer quietly."