Women Fashioning Women
October 1, 2023 - March 28, 2024
Women Fashioning Women examines the hidden history of women fashion designers. This exhibition will feature the work of twenty or more women fashion designers of the twentieth century. Ironically, in an industry fueled and supported by women, the accomplishments of woman fashion designers have been limited to the repetitive stories of trailblazers such as Chanel and Schiaparelli. We reaffirm the essential contributions of couturiers such as Chanel, Lanvin, and Schiaparelli but expand the conversation to examine the work of woman designers such as Vera Maxwell, Anne Fogarty, Ceil Chapman, Elizabeth Hawes, and many more. With a wide range of artifacts pulled from the holdings of the LSU Textile & Costume Museum and others borrowed from partner institutions, we respond to the assessment of feminist and theorist Bell Hooks, who said, "To be in the margin is to be part of the whole but outside the main body" (Hooks, 2015, p. xvii). Women Fashioning Women repositions the accomplishments of influential but oft-forgotten woman fashion designers solidifying their place in the main body of fashion history.