The Met’s costume collection may get most of the attention, but the Museum at FIT has staged some pretty amazing shows – including an all time favorite, the Rodarte-heavy “Gothic: Dark Glamour.”

Now, the museum is hosting a brand new exhibit entitled “American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion.” The 75 look exhibit is the first one to explore how the “philosophy of beauty” ties into the craft of dressmaking.

Curated by Patricia Mears, the deputy director of The Museum at FIT, each look was chosen because it is considered to exemplify excellence in both the technical as well as in the artistic arena. There are about 25 American fashion designers in the exhibit, and they include works from a wide spectrum of decades – from Jessie Franklin Turner, whose work dates from the late 1910’s, to the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte, Adrian, Bonnie Cashin, Maria Cornejo, James Galanos, Halston, Elizabeth Hawes, Charles James, Charles Kleibacker, Claire McCardell, Proenza Schouler, Norman Norell, Rick Owens, Ralph Rucci, Isabel Toledo, Pauline Trigère, Valentina, Yeohlee, and Jean Yu. The exhibit, which opened on November 6th, will run through April 10th, 2010.

Besides the exhibit, a book will be published by Yale University Press with proceeds going to the Fashion Institute of Technology, and there are a number of public programs including free lectures and tours being offered.