Congratulations to Arkansas American Fashion – Garden & Gun


Rhinestone cowboy boots sit alongside chic Hollywood dresses and streetwear in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s first fashion exhibition. Modeling America: Grit for Glamour, which opens this weekend in Bentonville, Arkansas.

More than a hundred iconic garments and accessories – such as Nike Air Jordans and Levi’s jeans – that have shaped American fashion will be displayed in seven rooms. While household names like Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Nike get their share of the spotlight, the museum hopes to further celebrate and share more about some of fashion’s unsung heroes. “What are the stories we know and what are the stories we don’t know? That’s really something that runs through the entire exhibition,” explains Michelle Tolini Finamore, the show’s curator. “We have so many different players who have created this idea of ​​America.”

photo: courtesy of Robert Black

Lloyd “Kiva” New (1916-2002, Cherokee) for Kiva dress, 1950.

photo: Stephen Lang

Terry Greaves Abstraction: Kiowa by design.

Take for example the story of Ann Lowe, the master designer behind Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ iconic wedding dress. While the black designer helped dress Jackie O. and some of the most prominent women of the mid-twentieth century, it took decades for her to get the credit she deserved. “When you look at the standard story, it’s not included,” Finamore says. “Making sure she’s part of this bigger story is important.” Lowe’s pieces are on display this year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and will have another star Modeling America.

Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Perry

Lisa Perry Roy Lichtenstein’s No Thank You Dress.

photo: Raoul Gatchalian/Thomas Lau

Anna Sui’s western-inspired ensembles, Men’s Ensemble, Americana Collection, Spring 2017.

Pieces from more than ninety designers and artists follow the theme of inclusion and celebrate those who have helped pave the way for today’s designers. Further highlights include pieces by Bill Whitten, creator of Michael Jackson’s famous glitter gloves, and innovative designs by Virgil Abloh, Lloyd Kiva New and Christian Siriano. “It’s really a celebration of the diversity of America, the wealth of American creativity, the creativity of fashion,” says Filmore. “I’d like people to walk away with a more nuanced understanding of American fashion in terms of what we know and what we don’t know.”

Modeling America: Grit for Glamour opens on September 10 and runs until January 30, 2023. Learn more about the exhibition here.


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