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It’s been quite a year

2010 has been a lively year for the textile and fashion arts department. The exhibition, Fashion in Bloom closed the end of January with a great lecture by associate curator of Costume and Textiles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kristina Haugland, titled, Revealing Garments: A Brief History of Women’s Undergarments. Soon after, we began preparing the Paul Textile and Fashion Arts galleries for the current exhibition, Body Unbound: Contemporary Couture from the IMA’s Collection which closes January 30, 2011, so go see it soon!

The Fashion Arts Society was founded in 2010 as well, with great response. The organization hosted their first fundraiser for the department, an after-party for the IMA fashion show Project IMA: Fashion Unbound titled Behind the Seams. The event went off without a hitch, and enjoyed by all who attended. FAS membership is growing steadily and the FAS calendar for 2011 will not disappoint.

In November the exhibition, Read My Pins, the Madeleine Albright Collection opened at the IMA with great success. The installation is beautiful and the catalogue accompanying the exhibition is a delight.
Dr. Albright visited the museum in early November, for a book signing and lecture, which was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had to date. Dr. Albright is as witty as she is smart and I think I am not alone in saying that everyone left the Toby that evening smiling.

This year the department also acquired about 45 new acquisitions, two of which is a dress (1972) by Halston (now on view on the IMA’s 3rd floor just outside the entrance for the Fashion Arts Gallery) and a complete Rudi Gernreich Japanese schoolboy ensemble (1967).

ensemble; ‘Japanese schoolboy’, 1967 by Rudi Gernreich (2010.205a-f) Caroline Marmon Fesler Fund

All of the museum’s recent acquisitions are featured on the IMA’s dashboard. However, here are just a few.

dress, 1966 by Rudi Gernreich (2010.71) Mr. and Mrs. William B. Ansted, Jr. Art Fund

The dress is a companion piece for this coat acquired by the IMA in 2008. coat, 1966, by Rudi Gernreich (2008.199) Lucille Stewart Endowed Art Fund

In 1966, Gernreich created a line featuring animal patterns of which this tiger print dress and coat are examples.  It was a Coty Award winning line.

dress, 1986 by Zandra Lindsey Rhodes (2010.74A-B) Gift of Alfred Shands

The print for this dress, style number 86/6, named ‘Peacock godets’ was inspired by a trip Rhodes took to India.

quilt; ‘Morning Glory’, 1912 by Marie D. Webster (2010.79) Webster Collection, Gift of Katherine Webster Dwight

The IMA has several of Marie D. Webster‘s quilts and patterns in the collection already. Morning Glory was published in a 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal and the pattern for this quilt is also housed in the IMA’s permanent collection (S7289.91a-e).

purse; ‘milk carton’, 1990s by Franco Moschino (2010.213) Textile Arts Fund

The image of the cow not only indicates the symbolic contents of the bag, “milk” but it was also one of the memorable faces used to launch Moschino‘s publicity campaigns. The purse includes an “ingredients list” promoting love, peace, fun and friendship, the “recipe” and an illustration instructing the wearer to not throw the bag away.

As 2010 draws to a close, we are preparing for the spring 2011 opening of Material World, an exhibition that will feature extravagant ornamentation of textiles and personal adornment from cultures around the world.

Here’s to another productive year!

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