Conversation with Harold Koda and Caroline Milbank
6pm Lecture | 7pm Cocktail Reception
Patron Ticket: $100
Includes preferred seating and recognition in event program*
General Admission Ticket: $60
More About the Conversation
Fashion today often resembles a performance, a presentation of self-portraying theater, especially when viewed on the red carpet. Is this new or has it always been so? Fashion historians Harold Koda and Caroline Rennolds Milbank will present a visual exploration of brilliant style – from the inevitable and iconic “Best Dressed” (Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Babe Paley, Marella Agnelli ) to more unexpected and idiosyncratic examples of women in the arts. Koda will shed further light on four women – Tina Chow, Iris Apfel, Nan Kempner, and Jacqueline de Ribes – celebrated in his museum exhibitions at FIT and at The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Milbank will touch on how women have presented themselves for the portrait artist, the photographer, and for grand public entrances from the stairway at the Opera Garner during the reign of the Empress Eugenie to the Met Gala of the recent past.
Harold Koda, curator and author, is the former Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where he directed an ambitious program of exhibitions and publications that extended the breadth of its audience and transformed the museological interpretation of fashion. Since 1980, he curated over 50 exhibitions primarily during his tenure at the Fashion Institute of Technology and The Costume Institute, but also at the Guggenheim Museum, The Bass Museum, and other smaller galleries. His exhibitions have been recognized by awards and citations from The Costume Society of America and the Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art. He is the author and co-author of 20 books and lectures widely.
Koda was responsible for initiating and orchestrating the transfer of the Brooklyn Museum’s storied costume collection to the Met in 2009. Additionally, he oversaw The Costume Institute’s first major capital renovation in forty years, resulting in a state-of-the-art facility that reopened as the Anna Wintour Costume Center in 2014.
Born in Honolulu, he graduated from the University of Hawaii with a dual B.A./B.F.A. in English Literature and Art History, received an M.L.A. in Landscape Architecture from Harvard, and is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from the University of the Arts London in 2014 and Drexel University in 2016. For his contributions to the field of Costume Studies, he has been honored with awards from the Council of Fashion Designer’s of America, the Fashion Group International, Hofstra University, Pratt Institute, and Bard College among others.
He is currently preparing a book on the concepts of elegance and glamour.
Caroline Rennolds Milbank
Caroline Rennolds Milbank has written extensively on the history of fashion in her books Fashion: A Timeline in Photographs 1850-TODAY, 2015, Resort Fashion, 2009, Rizzoli; The Couture Accessory; 2002, New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style, 1989, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and Couture: The Great Designers, 1985, Stewart, Tabori & Chang. She has contributed essays to museum catalogues and books including Susie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer, Cooper Hewitt, 2019, Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip, Museum of the City of New York; 2018, Poiret The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007, Chanel,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press, 2005. She is also the author of the Turkey Hill Plantation Cookbook.
Milbank was born in Richmond, Virginia and presently resides in Charleston. She has worked in New York City as an auction house expert at Sotheby’s and Doyle New York; as a journalist, curator, appraiser, and lecturer; and her fashion history insights can be found on Instagram @jupeculotte.