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The Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection Present First Online Exhibition

Fox Historic Costume Collection 2020: The Clothes We Wore and the Stories They Tell

February 3, 2021

Drexel University’s Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection is proud to present 2020: The Clothes We Wore and the Stories They Tell, the first online exhibition from the Fox Historic Costume Collection. The pieces of this exhibition will be curated from the Drexel community through a call for submissions of loan objects (to be photographed and returned) and a statement (60 words or less) explaining the significance of the submitted garment to the wearer during 2020’s tumultuous events. This request for submissions is open to all Drexel University students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

2020 was a year that will have lasting repercussions for many years to come. Fashion, with its association with artifice and luxury, may seem irrelevant during a period of crisis, but the clothes we wear are more than mere decoration – what we choose to wear, or not wear, speaks volumes. Whether you shifted your wardrobe to match your changing environment during a global pandemic, or you used clothing to further express yourself during a year filled with racial, social and political unrest, we want to hear about it.

We hope you will consider participating in 2020: The Clothes We Wore and the Stories They Tell and help us document a year that many of us would like to forget. The Fox Historic Costume Collection is looking for 20 garments (t-shirts, hats, masks, tote bags, etc.) that best represent the events of this past year. The deadline for submission is Friday, February 19, 2021.

To share your submission with us, click here.


Heralded as a “world-class collection of fashion and textiles” by the Wall Street Journal, the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection is one of the finest and oldest research collections in the nation. The collection spans several hundred years, with holdings ranging from Renaissance textiles to French couture. Many garments were worn by noted women of style, including American socialite and style icon Babe Paley and Princess Grace of Monaco. It is internationally recognized for the exceptional quality of its holdings and has lent objects to exhibitions in Paris and Milan.