Wedding gowns from 1800s to 21st century shown in exhibition organized by UNT's Texas Fashion Collection

Satin bows
A 1948 wedding gown of tulle accented with lace and satin bows is one of more than 40 that will be exhibited in American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity. Photo by Blake H. Hampton.
1874 wedding dress
This 1874 gown of silk with gathered front panel trimmed in lace is featured in the exhibition American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity. Courtesy of Steven Porterfield, photo by Laurie Ruth Photography.
Michael Faircloth
This 2013 wedding gown featured in the exhibition American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity was designed by Michael Faircloth and features laser cut and leather lace bodice. Courtesy of Michael Faircloth. Photo by Laurie Ruth Photography.
Monday, June 30, 2014 - 11:27

What: American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity, an exhibition of more than 40 wedding gowns, dresses and ensembles that span from 1840 to the present. The exhibition is a collaboration between UNT's Texas Fashion Collection and the Greater Denton Arts Council.

When: June 28 (Saturday) to Oct. 24 (Friday); gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Where: The Greater Denton Arts Council's Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts, 400 E. Hickory St., Denton

Cost: Free and open to the public. Free admission is due to a generous donation from Sue and Christopher Bancroft in honor of GDAC Executive Director Margaret Chalfant.

What else: Steven Porterfield, owner of Cat's Meow vintage store in Midland, Texas, and a guest appraiser for "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS, will give a gallery talk at the exhibition opening at 11 a.m. June 28 (Saturday). Porterfield loans some items to this exhibition.

More information: For more information, please contact Caroline Holley, at the Center for Visual Arts 940-382-2787 and Dawn Figueroa, at the Texas Fashion Collection at 940-565-2732.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Dresses trimmed in lace and silk, in bridal white and in a variety of colors tell the story of American brides from the 19th century to present day in the exhibition American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity.

The free exhibition, a collaboration between UNT's Texas Fashion Collection and the Greater Denton Arts Council, will be shown at the council's Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts June 28 (Saturday) to Oct. 24 (Friday).

"American Brides emphasizes the importance of bridal traditions that were handed down from the 19th century to the present day, such as the white wedding gown that was made popular by Queen Victoria," said GDAC Executive Director Margaret Chalfant. "Visitors will gain an appreciation of the beautiful details and handwork in each gown represented in the exhibition."

The exhibition was organized by TFC Director and Curator Myra Walker after presenting the idea to Chalfant about three years ago. The theme of a bridal gown exhibition has been in development for more than a decade. It will feature more than 40 wedding gowns, dresses and ensembles that span from 1840 to the present.

Most of the wedding gowns on display are drawn from the core of the TFC's collection, which includes more than 20,000 historic and modern fashions and accessories. These selections from the TFC also include several 19th century bridal gowns on loan from Steven Porterfield, owner of the Cat's Meow vintage store in Midland, Texas, and guest appraiser on PBS's "Antiques Roadshow." Dallas designers Michael Faircloth and Winn Morton also have dresses in the show, along with Houston designer Victor Costa. The designs range from traditional, historic silhouettes to dresses from the 1960s and 1970s, when previously acceptable norms for bridal wear were tested. Creations from UNT professors Marian O'Rourke Kaplan and Janie Stidham, along with custom designs by recent MFA graduates from the fashion program, are also included.

"While American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity spans a broad time period that includes designs from the past three centuries, the works are not being presented as an encyclopedic chronology," said Walker. "These selections reflect the emergence of a distinctive American style.

"Curating an exhibition about wedding attire for a bride was challenging," Walker added. "There are so many to choose from and people have such a sentimental attachment to their dress or family heirloom. This opportunity at the Center for the Visual Arts provides a glimpse of the many in-depth treasures from the Texas Fashion Collection."

The show can be viewed from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. from June 28 to Oct. 24 at The Center for the Visual Arts, 400 E Hickory St., Denton. A gallery opening on June 28 (Saturday) will include a gallery talk at 11 a.m. by Porterfield. The center is ideally located directly across the tracks from the new DCTA A-Train station and Denton bus depot. The free exhibition is due to a generous donation from Sue and Christopher Bancroft in honor of Chalfant.

About the Texas Fashion Collection:

The Texas Fashion Collection, part of UNT's College of Visual Arts and Design, is dedicated to the preservation and documentation of historically significant fashion, and serves as an educational and inspirational resource for students, researchers and the general public. The collection of top designers' works began in 1938 through the efforts of Stanley and Edward Marcus. The Dallas Fashion Group saw that it came to UNT in 1972 to support a growing fashion design program. Today, the collection houses more than 20,000 items of historic and modern fashion and accessories in a 4,500 square foot climate-controlled space.

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

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