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Fashion Events at Stephens 

Stephens College has a long reputation for excellence in fashion. Today our program is considered one of the top 50 schools for fashion in the world. We are proud to bring the art of fashion to the community through public events, including an annual fashion show, and by exhibiting items from our Costume Museum & Research Library. We also partner with local community businesses and civic organizations on a variety of fashion-related projects. Learn more about the School of Design, the home of our fashion program. 

The Costume Museum and Research Library Gallery Exhibits 

Two public exhibits are held in the Historic Costume Gallery (on the mezzanine floor of Lela Raney Wood Hall, 6 N. College Ave.) throughout the year. All exhibits are free and open to the public. All items displayed are pulled from the Costume Museum & Research Library. Established in 1958, the library has grown by donations from alumnae, friends and designers to more than 13,000 pieces, including representations of ethnic wear, everyday clothes of women, men and children, and an impressive list of designer garments.

Among the many designers represented are Oleg Cassini, Arnold Scaasi, Gilbert Adrian, Bill Blass, Bonnie Cashin, Chanel, Courreges, Madame Etta, Claire McCardell, Norman Norell, Oscar de la Renta and Valentino. This working collection of garments and accessories dating back to 1730 allows students to study not only garment construction but fashion trends that provide inspiration for current styles with actual hands-on experience. Archival storage areas protect the integrity of the collection, and classroom space allows for research and lecture discussions.


Current Exhibit: Suffrage: What's Fashion Got To Do With It?

August 24-Spring 2020

The Historic Costume Gallery will be closed until April 13.

This exhibit of more than 25 garments and accessories from the 1870s to the 1920s demonstrates the role fashion played in women’s struggle for the right to vote. From corsets and bustles to flapper dresses, the exhibition invites visitors to consider what fashion had to do with the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment and what fashion continues to mean for women’s rights today. Learn more.

Curator's Statement: As we approach a presidential election year, we are proud to be celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment as a women’s college. Women’s history and fashion history are woven together in the social fabric of our nation, which makes this exhibition important for anyone working, studying and living in the U.S. —Lori Hall-Araujo

Free and open to the public. 


Gallery Hours:

The Historic Costume Gallery will be closed until April 13. Please check back in April for regular hours. 


Gallery Location:

Mezzanine, Lela Raney Wood Hall
6 North College Ave.
Stephens College campus


In the News:


Past Shows:

  • Spring 2019 Exhibit: 75 Years of the Stephens Fashion Program
  • Fall 2018: Teaching from the Collections
  • Spring 2018: Victor Costa: Designing Dreams in Fashion
  • Fall 2017: The Joan Crawford Effect
  • Spring 2017: Head Over Heels
  • Fall 2016: Scaasi: Fashioning a Colorful Life
  • Spring 2016: Playing Dress Up: How Kids See Clothing
  • Fall 2015: REEL to REAL: Hollywood’s Influence on American Fashion
  • Spring 2015: The Day, The Dress, The Dream
  • Fall 2014: Faux Real
  • Spring 2014: Her Story
  • Fall 2013: Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Spring 2013: Emergence


For more information:
Costume Museum & Research Library
Stephens College
School of Design
Campus Box 2042
1200 E. Broadway
(573) 876-7220 

Historic Costume Gallery flickr site 

The Collections Annual Student Designer Fashion Show

Our fashion design students work all school year to turn their concepts into designs and designs into garments that they proudly reveal at the annual student designer fashion show, The Collections. Students are charged with coming up with creative denim and weekend wear, contemporary sportswear, and tailored designs. Fashion design seniors are responsible for entire collections. Each year specialty design categories such as garments with a social cause or engineered printing on fabric are part of the runway experience. 

Read more about the student designer fashion show.

Visit The Collections website.

2019 Fashion Show in Review 

View winning designs in our photo album.

See the list of winners.

Watch the 2019 Show livestream:


Past Shows

2018 Livestream:


2017 Livestream:


In the News:

See a full calendar of Stephens events.

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