UNT’s Texas Fashion Collection exhibition features intricate wearable art clothing made for Dallas collector

Goddess of Knowledge 2006. Jacket of violet and blue silk
Goddess of Knowledge 2006. Jacket of violet and blue silk with a female goddess figure in a multi-colored landscape appliqué will be shown in an exhibition at UNT ArtSpace Dallas. Designed by Amy Zerner. Photo by Monte Farber
Artist Amy Zerner and Collector Torie Gibralter.
Artist Amy Zerner and Collector Torie Gibralter are shown in a photo by Monte Farber. The Texas Fashion Collection will display some of Zerner's pieces in an exhibition that starts Nov. 21 at UNT ArtSpace Dallas.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 09:05

What: An Artistic Alliance: Art and Couture by Amy Zerner from the Collection of Torie Gibralter, an exhibition ofunique wearable art collection, which includes robes, jackets, silk kimonos and tapestries with intricately designed fabric appliqués. The exhibition is part of the Fashion on Main Exhibition Series at UNT ArtSpace Dallas, organized by the Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas.

When: Nov. 21 (Saturday) - Jan. 9 (Saturday), with a reception from 12 to 2 p.m. and gallery talk at 1 p.m. Nov. 21 (Saturday). Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Fridays

Where: UNT ArtSpace Dallas, 1901 Main St., Dallas, on the first floor of the University Center Building

Cost: Free

More information: More information about the UNT ArtSpace Dallas gallery and exhibitions, and other UNT art galleries, can be found on the UNT Galleries website.


DENTON (UNT), Texas – A new exhibition, organized by the Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas, will feature a unique collection in which the art adorns the clothing.

An Artistic Alliance: Art and Couture by Amy Zerner from the Collection of Torie Gibralter will run Nov. 21 (Saturday) - Jan. 9 (Saturday) at UNT ArtSpace Dallas, 1901 Main St., Dallas. A reception will take place from 12 to 2 p.m. with a gallery talk by curator Myra Walker at 1 p.m. Nov. 21 (Saturday).

The exhibition will display 20 selectedrobes, jackets and dresses with richly appliquéd tapestries made by New York artist Amy Zerner for Dallas resident Torie Gibralter, who passed away in July.

The one-of-a-kind pieces feature inspiring worlds of wonder rich with layers of meaning and imagination. The exhibition includes “The Magdalene,” which depicts a primal earth mother with six snakes against red and black fabric. “Sacred Swans” is a denim jacket with the titular animals swimming in the lake with a castle in the background. Several kimono-style robes highlight the female goddesses Aphrodite, Lakshmi, T’ai Yuan and Hekat.

Zerner met Gibralter in 2003 when she was doing a trunk show at Neiman-Marcus in Dallas and a personal shopper suggested Gibralter would like Zerner’s work.

Gibralter bought several pieces that day – and began a decade-long collaboration.

“It’s not like ordering them from a catalog,” said Myra Walker, director of the Texas Fashion Collection. “Torie was an integral part of the design process. Torie would express her own ideas about symbols and motifs directly to Amy to include in the garment. The pieces not only documents a client buying from a designer, but they also capture their spirit of collaboration.”

Zerner incorporated Gibralter’s favorite colors and symbols, such as a cat in “Starwalker,” a dress featuring stars all over the black fabric, and a peacock in “Peacock Passion,” a robe with vivid flowers against a black background.

“It was very special for me as an artist because it pushed me forward to try something new, to go to a new level,” Zerner said.

And it made an inner and outer impression for Gibralter, who was not the typical Dallas socialite.

“The jackets enveloped her in a way that made her feel safe and empowered,” Walker said. “Torie believed that the symbols and appliqués Amy bestowed a personal self-confidence to be in the world.”

Zerner added the wearer energizes the artwork makes it a unique piece of clothing.

“It has a life of its own,” Zerner said. “When the person meets the piece, it becomes like a living sculpture. They become part of the art.” 

Zerner and her husband Monte Farberalso created a catalog of the exhibition as a tribute to Gibralter. Zerner has received a National Endowment of Arts fellowship for her work. Her pieces has been exhibited in museums around the nation and worn by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart and Patti LaBelle.

Zerner’s unique fashion designs have been carried by Bergdorf Goodman in NYC for 15 years. She and Farber run a shop, The Enchanted World, in East Hampton, N.Y., which features all of their creations.

Walker said she has shared the unique Zerner wearable art examples with dozens of fashion students and fiber students, who have been impressed by depth of the rich layers and embroidered embellishments.

“The pieces have a strong visual impact when you see them all together,” Walker said. “People are quite impressed by it. We’re very lucky to be the recipient of Torie Gilbrater’s collection of Amy Zerner’s Spiritual Couture in the Texas Fashion Collection.”


About UNT ArtSpace Dallas

Launched in 2007 as Fashion on Main Gallery in the University Center building in downtown Dallas and expanded in 2013, this space's mission has grown to focus on the work of outstanding faculty, alumni and students, while also carrying on the site's legacy as "Fashion on Main" through selected exhibitions of the UNT Texas Fashion Collection. UNT ArtSpace Dallas is a showcase facility for visionary projects initiated by CVAD students, alumni, and faculty and centers, institutes, and collections. Innovative in outlook, the UNT ArtSpace program offers artists opportunities to present experimental, pivotal and breakthrough projects, and serves to build connections between UNT and the Dallas arts and civic communities.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108