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FHCC Events & Seminars

DHCC History & Preservation

FHCC Events & Seminars

Exhibition: Immortal Beauty

October 2, 2015 - December 12, 2015

The more than 75 objects on display will reflect the breadth of the collection as well as the history of fashion, dating from a fragment of 16th century Italian velvet to a short evening dress by Alexander Wang from 2012. Notable pieces will include Renaissance textiles and French couture, as well as contemporary couture by Philadelphia natives James Galanos and Ralph Rucci. Garments worn by noted women of style such as American socialite and style icon Babe Paley and Princess Graceof Monaco will also be showcased. The exhibition will largely focus on international high style of the 20th century. Examples by Gabrielle Chanel, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Mary Quant and Elsa Schiaparelli will be shown. 

Immortal Beauty will also showcase the collection’s specific and historic ties to the University. The title of the exhibit, Immortal Beauty, comes from a speech given by Drexel’s first President, James A. MacAlister (1891-1913), during the dedication of the then Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry, referencing the artwork purchased for what was then referred to as the Museum of the Drexel Institute.  

Click here to view the exhibition website.


Past Events

Style Saturday: Behind the Seams: The Making of a Costume Exhibition

Have you ever wondered what it takes to mount a large scale costume exhibition? Joins us on Saturday, May 9th, for our Spring edition of Style Saturday to learn what it takes to get ready for such a grand event. Clare Sauro, Curator of the Fox Historic Costume Collection, will give guests an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to bring an empty gallery to life with treasures from the Collection. Sauro will discuss all aspects of an exhibit from mounting to mannequins and why certain objects are chosen to be included over others. Guests will also get a sneak-peak of some of the items that will be on display in the FHCC's first survey scale exhibit, Immortal Beauty: Highlights from the Robert & Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection., coming to the Pearlstein Gallery this fall.

Be the first to see these items and more on Saturday, May 9th at 10 AM in the Westphal College's URBN Center Lobby (3501 Market Street). Tickets are $50 and all proceeds benefit the Fox Historic Costume Collection. Click here to register.


DesignPhiladelphia – October 15, 2014

Ciao Bella: Eight Decades of Italian Shoe Design

From street corners to universities, artists’ studios to cultural institutions, DesignPhiladelphia explores design and innovation in our city’s diverse creative ecosystem. The tenth festival will take place from October 9 to 17 with more than 120 distinct events across the city.

On October 15, Westphal will join the festival with a special event in the College’s Fox Historic Costume Collection. FHCC Curator Clare Sauro will delve into a form of impeccable design that is the hallmark of couture Italian shoes. Her talk, “Ciao Bella: Eight Decades of Italian Shoe Design,” will review the rich history of Italian footwear, from Salvatore Ferragamo to the fashion-forward shoes produced by Prada and Romeo Gigli. The event will include an up-close viewing of Italian shoes from the Collection’s holdings. The FHCC is a teaching collection that holds more than 12,000 articles of fashionable dress and accessories, textiles and ephemera. Click here to register for the event on October 15, 6:00pm to 8:00pm, in Westphal College’s URBN Center Annex (3401 Filbert Street). Tickets are $25 and include a dessert reception.

The “Ciao Bella” shoe design event is also part of Ciao Philadelphia, a month-long celebration of all things Italian organized by the Italian Consulate of Philadelphia. Westphal will host another event in conjunction with Ciao Philadelphia, on October 2 at 6:30pm in the URBN Annex Screening Room (3401 Filbert St). We’ll screen Men of the Cloth, Vicki Vasilopoulos’ film portrait of three master custom tailors whose bespoke craft is vanishing. Nino Corvato, Checchino Fonticoli and Joe Centofanti explain the causes for the decline of the apprentice system as they approach the twilight of their careers. The film details the depth of their artistry and their lifelong passion for an endangered Old World craft. The free-to-the-public screening will be followed by a panel discussion and reception.


Style Saturday Seminar: Luxe Redux: Fashions of the 1980s

FHCC Curator Clare Sauro will give a lecture about the over-the-top fashions of the 1980s, with an emphasis on the return of luxury couture. Guests will get a behind-the-scenes peek at 1980s fashions from the collection, including pieces by Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix, and Emanual Ungaro.

Click here to register for the event on Saturday, December 6th, 10:00am, in Westphal College’s URBN Center, 349 (3501 Market Street). Tickets are $50.


Style Saturday – March 8, 2014 "In Bloom: The Fashion for Florals"

Fashion journalists are heralding the return of floral prints for the Spring 2014 season, but did they ever really go away? From the rococo rose to the pop art daisy, floral motifs have been a perennial favorite. Join Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC) curator Clare Sauro for an extended look at fashionable florals throughout the centuries at our Style Saturday seminar, Saturday, March 8 from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., meeting in the URBN Center Lobby (3501 Market St., Philadelphia).

This seminar will include a lecture and presentation by Sauro, titled “In Bloom: The Fashion for Florals,” and an exclusive behind the scenes look at examples in the FHCC collection. Style Saturday tickets are $50 and include light refreshments. All proceeds will benefit the Fox Historic Costume Collection.


Style Saturday – May 10, 2014 "Grace Kelly: Icon of Beauty and Style"

Join us Saturday, May 10th at 9:45 a.m. in the URBN Center Lobby (3501 Market St., Philadelphia) for an extended look at Philadelphia’s beloved Grace Kelly, both in the context of 1950s & 1960s fashion and as an enduring icon of style.

This seminar includes a lecture/presentation by Fox Historic Costume Collection curator Clare Sauro, light refreshments, and an exclusive viewing of the coral encrusted couture gown worn by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1965 alongside designer fashions of the 1950s & 1960s that exemplify the “Grace Kelly look”. All proceeds will benefit the Fox Historic Costume Collection.


Fashion Friday – October 25, 2013 "History of 1920s Fashion"

Due to strong interest in our Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC), we have launched quarterly, full-day Fashion Friday events with educational seminars on fashion history and a specialized viewing of this amazing collection of more than 12,000 garments and accessories worn by such notables as Greta Garbo, Babe Paley and Princess Grace. 

The first FHCC Fashion Friday event was held Friday, October 25th with a seminar on the History of 1920s Fashion. The History of 1920s Fashion seminar, by FHCC Curator Clare Sauro, took an extended look at the fashions of the jazz age – a period when fashionable women abandoned the restrictive clothing styles of previous generations. Fashions from this era have become popular again thanks to hit TV shows Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire and Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby.