The latest exhibit at the Historic Costume Gallery will tell “Her Story” and will feature pieces from female designers such as Clair McCardell, Hattie Carnegie and Lucille that have not been previously displayed.
“Her Story: A Fashion Collection Speaks to Women’s History” opens at 4:30 p.m. today with a reception. The exhibit will remain open through December.
“We wanted a way to showcase some of the latest garments that have been donated to us,” said Monica McMurry, gallery curator and dean of the School of Fashion and Design. “We realized we’d been getting some really great pieces, many of which happened to be from prominent female designers.”
The exhibit will feature a multicolored romper by McCardell, an American fashion designer known for designing functional but stylish sportswear in the 1930s through 1950s. McCardell is credited as the creator of America’s casual approach to fashion.
The exhibit also includes a 1920s dress with floral sleeves and a matching belt from Lucille, a leading fashion designer in the late 19th and early 20th century. Lucille, a British-based designer, was the originator of the “mannequin parade,” a precursor to the modern fashion show.
Additionally, the gallery will showcase one recently donated dress from Christian Dior, who, while not female, did have a significant impact on women's fashion. A navy jacket from Carnegie, a Paquin jacket circa 1908 and two Christain Lacroix suits are also among the never-before-displayed garments.
“These are all very important designers in the history of female fashion,” McMurry said. “The show is really a three-dimensional timeline of those who helped fashion evolve over the years.”
The exhibit will also feature items seen this past spring in The Collections fashion show, a jumpsuit designed by Holly Hmielewski ’14 and a dress by Effie Frank ’14. This marks the first time in the gallery’s history that garments created by Stephens students will be on display.
Gallery hours are noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays during the fall semester. The museum is located on the mezzanine level of Lela Raney Wood Hall.
Also in September, the School of Fashion and Design will showcase an exhibit of garments from the 1930s that women might have worn to the 1936 Olympics, as well as a U.S. flag from that period. The exhibit, just outside of the Historic Costume Gallery, is among One Read events featuring “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel Brown. That display will be open during gallery hours.
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