A leopard jump suit greets visitors to the Faux Real clothing exhibit on the first floor of Lela Raney Wood Hall.
That’s just one element of an exhibit that senior gallery employee Chloe Willett says has a name that is, “so lame it’s cool.” The exhibit also features a 7-foot leopard pelt, a cat dress made of paper and a faux-leather bomber jacket just waiting to be seen.
Chloe Willett is a self-initiated fashion art and art history student. She has been helping the Historic Costume Gallery since her freshman year and has known since then she wanted to create an exhibit as her capstone project. Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design and curator of the costume museum and research library, and Jennifer Cole, curator assistant, have proudly stated how much hard work Willett has put into this exhibit and how she has done an outstanding job.
This exhibit contains a mix of faux and real animal skins, including clothing made from snake, alligator and ostrich. Willet said she chose fur because she’s fascinated by it as a medium, and she wanted to highlight differences between real and fake fur.
“The show is a good experience for someone to come and see that furs have had a long history,” she said. Viewers will gain a better understanding of why and how fur has been used throughout the years. Like every clothing exhibit here, the garments were donated by Stephens alumnae and stored in the Historic Costume Gallery archives, located in the basement of Lela Raney Wood.
This is the second exhibit of the year, the first of which was Bohemian Rhapsody in the fall, and the 18th show in the history of the Historic Costume Gallery.
The exhibit opened on Feb. 15 on the mezzanine of Lela Raney Wood Hall. It will be open through May 10 and community engagement points are available. Faux Real will be open Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.