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The Long Reign of Parisian Fashion

In 1665, Louis XIV’s finance minister supposedly quipped that as a national moneymaker, fashion was to France what the gold mines of Peru were to Spain. Three and a half centuries later, that hasn’t changed. “Paris, Capital of Fashion,” a new exhibition running from Sept. 6 to Jan. 4 at The Museum at FIT, New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, shows how Paris has stayed ahead of its couture rivals. The show includes some 100 objects, from a silk whalebone corset made around 1750 to an “electric light” dress complete with bulb to a Christian Dior outfit once owned by Marlene Dietrich.