University of North Texas

UNT Fashion Exhibit Gives Rare Glimpse Into Archive Collection

University of North Texas' spring exhibit called 'Delight: Selections from the Texas Fashion Collection' is open in the campus Art Building

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The University of North Texas exhibit 'Delight: Selections from the Texas Fashion Collection' shows fashion isn't all runways and models, it's every day for everyone.

"It's surprising that the Texas Fashion Collection is in Denton, which is not known as a fashion capital," said Director of the UNT Texas Fashion Collection Annette Becker.

The 20,000 piece collection was started by Dallas-based Neiman Marcus and moved to UNT in the 1970s.

"So even though people often think of maybe New York or Paris as places to understand what the heartbeat of fashion is, somewhat surprisingly, Dallas has been part of that heartbeat historically," Becker said.

The exhibit includes North Texas designers, like UNT graduate Michael Faircloth, and Dallas-based Page Boy Maternity, which started in 1938 and made some of the first fashionable maternity wear.

Some of the pieces are unexpected, like Le Canned Dress, a dress in a can.

"This canned dress is a fascinating novelty," Becker said "You'd purchase one, and when you got home, you would take this dress out of the can."

Another piece in the exhibit is more than meets the eye. A jumpsuit by London-based Indian designer Ashish looks like it's made of crocheted granny squares at a distance.

"This jumpsuit is entirely sequins," Becker said. "Ashish is really encouraging us to think about something that is really humble that's every day."

Next to brand name designers, there are items with no name, like a handmade tiara made from glitter, glue, and chicken wire.

"But that chicken wire tiara was made by someone who had aspirations grander than their current situation," Becker said.

The Delight: Selections from the Texas Fashion Collection exhibit runs through May 21.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 12 p.m.-5 p.m. and Thursday 12 p.m.-8 p.m.

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