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Venus and Diana: Fashioning the Jazz Age

November 5th, 2021 - May 6th, 2022

Venus and Diana

A stunning collection of women’s fashions from the 1920s will be on display from Friday, Nov. 5 – Friday, April 8, as part of Venus & Diana: Fashioning the Jazz Age, presented by Drexel University’s Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC) of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

During this fascinating decade, designers, retailers and manufacturers offered a wide assortment of garments that reflected the rapid pace and shifting demands of modern life. The special exhibition will feature approximately 40 garments from influential designers such as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Madeleine Vionnet, Paul Poiret, Jean Patou, and for the true connoisseurs, Callot Soeurs. These garments will be accompanied by a selection of related accessories, illustrations and photographs.

“In 1924, Jean Patou launched a campaign to hire four American models for his Parisian couture house, and while he was careful to stress ‘the exquisite desirability of both the rounded French Venus and the slender American Diana,’ his search reflected a growing tension between the adherence to couture tradition and the adoption of styles based on active sportswear,” said Clare Sauro, director of the Fox Historic Costume Collection and assistant professor in Westphal College. “Patou recognized that youth was driving fashion trends and shrewdly capitalized on this market.”