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Philadelphia In Style: A Century of Fashion

March 13, 2016 - June 26, 2016


James A. Michener Art Museum (138 S. Pine St. · Doylestown, PA 18901)

Philadelphia in Style: A Century of Fashion from the Robert & Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, Drexel University illuminates the rich sartorial legacy of a city that has often been overshadowed by New York, but in reality has played a significant role in American fashion. Philadelphia has long been an influential design center, an incubator for leading fashion design talent and a home to stylish women.

The exhibition chronicles the shift in the history of fashion, from the practice of employing dressmakers and tailors—with whom many women developed strong personal relationships—to the rise of ready-to-wear clothing from local department stores and other fashion retailers, leading to a new urban pastime: shopping.

“The FHCC is a collection of enormous historic and aesthetic significance, but had previously only been seen by a select few,” said Clare Sauro, curator of the Fox Historic Costume Collection. “Immortal Beauty allowed us to introduce ourselves to the world, but this exhibition will turn the spotlight on Philadelphia fashion, which – having been shaped by the great tastemakers of Philadelphia – is the foundation of our collection.”

Sauro will co-curate the exhibition with Kirsten M. Jensen, PhD, the Michener Art Museum’s Gerry & Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator, and Louise Feder, assistant curator at the Michener Art Museum.

“For centuries, fashion has been a leading cultural force around the globe, but every city has its own story,” said Jensen. “We wanted to tell the Philadelphia story by resurrecting in our galleries the particular glamour, elegance and shopping customs of Philadelphia ladies through the past century.”

Complementing the Philadelphia in Style exhibition will be lectures, a film series and behind-the-scenes tours of regional fashion collections. For listings and details, visit Group tours are also welcome.