International garments featured in UNT fashion exhibition

Monday, January 14, 2013 - 19:56

What: The Joy Losee Collection: Art and Dress Along the Silk Road — A fashion exhibition presented by the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design. Part of the UNT Collections, Cultures and Collaborations Series.

Curated by Myra Walker, director and head curator of the Texas Fashion Collection.

When: Jan. 15 (Tuesday) - Feb. 9 (Saturday). Art Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Opening reception: 5 - 7 p.m. Jan. 17 (Thursday). Will feature a fashion show with clothing inspired by the collection, remarks by Dean Robert Milnes and a demonstration by belly dancers.

Where: UNT Art Gallery in the UNT Art Building, one block west of Mulberry and Welch streets

Cost: Free

Contact: Visit or call 940-565-4316.

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Traditional garments go beyond the beauty of their fabrics to explore the meanings and cultural identity that garments communicate – such as the artistry in a glittering Thai temple dancer’s costume or the religious significance of an Afghanistan burqa – in The Joy Losee Collection: Art and Dress Along the Silk Road, an exhibition from the Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas.

The exhibition – presented by the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design as part of the Collections, Cultures and Collaborations Series – will be on display Jan. 15 (Tuesday) - Feb. 9 (Saturday) in the UNT Art Gallery in the UNT Art Building, one block west of Mulberry and Welch streets. Please note the gallery has Saturday hours from noon to 5 p.m.

The opening reception, 5 - 7 p.m. Jan. 17 (Thursday), will feature a fashion show, with models wearing items inspired by Losee’s collection, a belly dancing demonstration, and remarks from College of Visual Arts and Design Dean Robert Milnes.

Admission is free. Contact 940-565-4316 or visit for more information.

Collector and former Pan American Airlines flight attendant Joy Losee first donated 27 traditional cultural garments and accessories to the Texas Fashion Collection in 2011. She donated 35 more outfits in 2012 and plans to donate more in 2013. While her donated collection includes items from the Americas, Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific, the exhibition will feature a selection of items from Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, India,Thailand, the Philippines and other countries and cultures along the Silk Road.

“Ms. Losee’s gift has greatly expanded the global holdings of the TFC, giving students and researchers an opportunity to gain an understanding of the style and lives of women abroad,” said Myra Walker, director and head curator of the Texas Fashion Collection. “One of the unique and significant features of Ms. Losee’s collection is that she had the foresight to collect entire outfits — including the accompanying accessories.”

Losee, who grew up in Asheville, N.C., and now lives in Gainesville, Ga., gathered garments while traveling in Guatemala, Mexico, Japan and Peru and other places across the globe. Other items were gifts from friends and family or purchased from collectors. Since she began collecting more than 30 years ago, she has acquired garments from five continents.

She continues to travel and collect. Recent trips have resulted in the Uzbekistan wedding garment that will be on display. The wedding garment and accompanying festival costume are intricately designed with dyed and woven silk and lush embroidery. 

“The clothes that women wear tell volumes about their culture and customs,” said Losee, who has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Maryland. “It has always been my wish that the collection be used for cultural and educational purposes. UNT has one of the largest fashion collections in the country. I am thrilled that these costumes will be used for cultural and educational purposes in the fashion design program at UNT, and that they will be preserved for others to enjoy well into the future.”

Students in a graduate-level art history course studied the garments in this exhibition through visits to the Texas Fashion Collection. They developed teaching tools and scholarly methods of examining the works throughout the fall 2012 semester. Excerpts from their research are shared in extended label texts throughout the exhibition, and will be presented by students in a series of Noon Gallery Talks during the show.

This exhibition is the sixth installment of the Collections, Cultures and Collaborations Series, a project that engages with graduate students in art history and art education to conduct original research on contemporary artworks. The project has highlighted works in the CVAD Collection, The Rachofsky Collection, the Flatbed Press Collection and the Neiman Marcus Art Collection.


About the Texas Fashion Collection

Known as the Dallas Museum of Fashion when it was first brought to the UNT campus in 1972, the name was later changed to the Texas Fashion Collection. Today, the facility in Scoular Hall houses more than 15,000 items of historic dress as a valuable resource for students and researchers. The Texas Fashion Collection is overseen by Professor Myra Walker. Director and curator since 1987, she has organized numerous fashion exhibitions in Dallas, Fort Worth and New York.

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