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Call for Entries

Some of you might remember, we hosted a fashion show in 2008, called Project IMA, and it was a resounding success. But if you missed it, or really wished you participated, hang on to your hats! Because we’re planning another one.

(Image: Melissa Glenn,

Project IMA: Fashion Unbound, is a runway fashion show organized by the IMA and will take place on Friday October 22, 2010 at the IMA in the Toby Theater.

But first, things first…..
We are also pleased to announce that the Indianapolis Museum of Art is inviting artists and fashion designers to submit original, one-of-a kind-works for inclusion in this spectacular, one-night only event. The theme for Project IMA: Fashion Unbound is uncanny silhouettes and unexpected materials. Utilizing re-purposed or used materials is strongly encouraged.

So if that sounds like you, please fill out the application form and submit all the materials to by August 20, 2010.
Oh! And tell your friends.

Official details are below.  Read the rest of this entry »


Who’s that girl? Part 2: Mannequin prep & IMA TV

A while back I wrote a post on mannequin preparation for our exhibition, Body Unbound. Around the same time, I began working on short behind-the-scenes video with the Nugget Factory. Welcome to my first IMA TV interview.

Filming turned out to be a bit nerve-racking for me. “Act naturally,” is a phrase easier said than done. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy witnessing what exactly we do to prepare for an exhibition.

Body Unbound is now on open and looks fantastic. Be sure to stop by the IMA before January 2011 and see for yourself.

No mannequins were harmed during the making of this video:


From One into Another

Oooo la la…The Textile and Fashion Arts galleries got a face-lift

The Paul textile and fashion arts galleries opened with a bang in 2006 with a spectacular exhibition, I Do, The Marriage of Fashion and Art curated by Niloo Paydar. (Here’s a little secret: this is one of the first exhibitions I worked on when interning at the IMA in 2003)

Installation view, I Do, The Marriage of Fashion and Art, fashion arts gallery, 2006

Installation view, I Do, The Marriage of Fashion and Art, textile arts gallery, 2006

The exhibition utilized both the Paul textile arts and fashion arts galleries with the door open to adjoin the spaces. The placement of the doorway is specific, acting as a bridge for the two galleries to accommodate larger comprehensive exhibitions, such as the case with, I Do. When the door is closed, however, either the exhibitions are varied or the galleries are dark, allowing the museum to utilize the space as an area for the IMA to prepare for upcoming exhibits.

Installation view, All Dressed Up; Recent Additions, textile arts gallery, 2007

Always keeping our environmental footprint in mind, we reused the risers built specifically for the inaugural exhibition, (I Do) for the next five, yep that’s right, five exhibitions. Over the course of four years, our exhibition designers toyed with the placement of supplemental risers, wall colors and graphics in order to update each space according to the unique exhibitions housed.

In the case of Dior; The King of Couture, the gallery structure remained the same, but the dramatic use of color and wall graphics helped transform the space.

Installation view, Dior; The King of Couture, fashion arts gallery, 2007

In the case of Simply Halston, we created an alternate environment by exhibiting pieces flat on the wall as well as placing close to 30 pieces in the gallery. We lightheartedly refer to this format as the cocktail party scheme vs. the debutante ball, al la Dior.

Installation views, Simply Halston, fashion arts gallery, 2008

 Read the rest of this entry »


Who’s that girl? Part 1: Mannequin preparation

Mannequins freshly decapitated

Mannequin waiting to have arm broken and reset. All adjustments we make to mannequins are reversible and prepared so the forms can be used repeatedly.

One of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of my job is researching, planning and finally, mounting an exhibition. I liken it to what a performer or musician must feel when they step onto stage after months of practice. One of the nuances of this feeling though, is each exhibition has a personality. Moreover, getting to know that personality is at times a joy, or a challenge, or both. Some exhibitions are straightforward and others will throw you for a loop. Nevertheless, these quirks are what propel an exhibition team forward – together. And… like any great performance or concert, it takes a group of people utilizing their aptitude in a variety of ways. Every exhibition at the IMA is supported by a team, made up of members representing different departments, each responsible for an aspect of its’ planning and execution. The upcoming fashion arts exhibition, Body Unbound, Contemporary Couture from the IMA’s Collection, is no different.  Read the rest of this entry »


What is American Style?

Calvin Klein, Patricia Fields (with a little help from the Sex in the City), Sean Jean? Or is it blue jeans, football jerseys, doc martins and baseball caps?  Or maybe still it is vintage coupled with couture, topped off with something you bought at the last DIY fair?

The first weekend of December, Niloo Paydar, Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts and I traveled to New York for the Fashion Institute of Technology’s annual symposium, entitled American Style. The symposium was hosted in conjunction with the exhibition American Beauty, Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion, on view until April 10, 2010 at the Museum of FIT.

Kleibacker on stage at FIT with his model, photo taken by me

Oh! And there is a catalogue too!!

The conference addressed many facets of what one might deem “American Style.” Professor Van Dyk Lewis spoke about Hip-Hop fashion while Holly George Warren, the former editor for Rolling Stone magazine, gave an insightful lecture on what she affectionately called “Cowboy Couture.” *I am enraptured with Manuel, by the way.  While the last lecture discussing American sub-cultural styles, was presented by David Colman on the phenomenon of Prep revival. And… we all know someone who is doing this, whether it involves popped collars or cardigans, everyone knows someone with just a little bit of Preppy in them.  Read the rest of this entry »


About Petra

Job Title: Curatorial Associate of Textile and Fashion Arts/European Painting and Sculpture to 1945

Interests: Culture, Fashion, Photography, Vinyl (music in general) Teaching, Thrifting, Plants (indoor and out)

Music: Ray Charles, The Knife, Budos Band, Jarvis Cocker, Billie, Sarah and Ella, Fruit Bats, Lionel, Wes and Charlie

Food:Greens, Wine, Chocolate & Cheese- the stinkier the better!

Pets:2 cats (mother and daughter) Bunners aka Mamas and Neko aka Kitten.

Something Extra: I enjoy the unexpected.

Petra has written 15 articles for us.