By Jennifer Eberhart Beading, flowing gowns, navy bathing suits, lace, sequins, cotton suits, high heels. Sound a bit like your wardrobe? You may (or might not) be surprised to know that all of today’s fashions have been inspired by styles of earlier generations.

In an exquisitely designed new exhibit, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting a show entitled “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity”. The show delves into styles from the 1890s to 1940, focusing on the strength and passions of six different women and her influences in gaining the independence that we females are able to enjoy today.

The heiress, the Gibson Girl, the bohemian, the patriot / suffragist, the flapper and the screen siren are all highlighted throughout the 7-room gallery.

With 80 mannequins decked out in House of Worth, Chanel, Valentina and Callot Soeurs, this exhibit is a fashion-lover’s dream.

“American Woman” also boasts hand-painted backdrops, period music, hand-crafted headpieces, archival footage and film clips that take the viewer back in time. As an added bonus, if you pick up the audio guide at the gallery entrance, you’ll hear New York’s very own fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker introducing you to each accomplished woman in the gallery.

The exhibit is made possible through an historic collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum, which is hosting its own display of covetable clothing in “American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection”, on display until August 1.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “American Woman” is this summer’s must-see show for any art and fashion lover. The exhibit continues through August 15.