A cream-colored silk chiffon and ostrich feather ensemble designed by Hubert de Givenchy was packed with care to make the trip from the University of North Texas in Denton to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
"The Met curators got online and were researching all the Givenchy pieces they could find in the world, and were most interested in representing his career with a piece from our collection," said Annette Becker, UNT Texas Fashion Collection Director.
UNT is home to the Texas Fashion Collection. The delicate Givenchy ensemble will be on display for The Met's new exhibit called "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion."
"We have over 300 pieces by Givenchy in our collection," Becker said. "The Met decided to borrow one of those because that exact design was represented at the 'Battle of Versailles.'"
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That battle was a 1973 fashion face-off between French and American designers. The Americans dominated.
"The strength of our collection is really American fashion design," Becker said. "To see those designs and that energy be celebrated in such a major space like the Metropolitan Museum of Art really only elevates the stature of our collection."
In The Met exhibit, the '"Battle of Versailles" display is interpreted by designer Tom Ford in literal terms, with mannequins staged in fight scenes. The UNT Texas Fashion Collection Givenchy gown is among them.
"It's so wonderful to see pieces from Denton, Texas, be celebrated in New York," Becker said.
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art 'In America: A Lexicon of Fashion' exhibit opens May 5 and runs through Sept. 5.