Bullock Texas State History Museum,
December 21 — April 12
By Holly Cowart
Photograph courtesy of Texas Fashion Collection, University of North Texas
Fashion is a staple in every society. It can represent distinct locations, chronicle global trends and inspire unexpected collaborations between cultures. And while you may more readily think of Italian runways or the streets of Paris when it comes to the style influencers of the world, you might not realize the significant role high fashion has played in your own backyard.
If this sounds like you, make your way to the Bullock Texas State History Museum for its upcoming showcase “Fashion Forward.” Exhibiting from the esteemed Texas Fashion Collection housed at the University of North Texas, you’ll walk through a gallery of groundbreaking garments. Focusing on the 20th century, additions include Christian Dior’s decadent New Look, which premiered in Paris in 1947, and the chic yet intentionally comfortable creations of Geoffrey Beene and Giorgio Armani. Japanese designer Hanae Mori makes an appearance as well, whose signature silk gowns and butterfly patterns first reached the U.S. via Texas retailers.
Each couturier is also a recipient of the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion. Founded in Dallas in 1907, the company was among the first to create a prize acknowledging style industry icons regardless of position or nationality. Further cementing Texas as a fashion hub are the four sons of Neiman Marcus co-founder Herbert Marcus. Their initial contributions were the beginning of the now 20,000-piece collection at UNT.
From this impressive slate of game-changing outfits, we get a fascinating glance into the evolution of Texas style. Expect interactive workshops and educational opportunities for all ages throughout the show’s four-month stay, including an opening reception on January 10.