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Wild Party Wear

On entering the new exhibit in Gearing Hall, you feel like you are dropping by a party from the latter part of the 20th century. Wacky and Wild Wardrobe was created by students from the Division of Textiles and Apparel working under the direction of Gail Chovan.

Undergraduates taking Chovan's History of Dress class created, in essence, a diorama filled with vibrant, fun outfits. Set against a black backdrop that is punctured by Pollack-esque canvases, white mannequins are draped in fuchsia, avocado, gold, hot orange, and scarlet.

The special gowns and accessories were selected by Chovan and students from the School of Human Ecology's Historic Collection. Two ensembles in particular stand out: a white dress with oversized Crayola polka dots that is paired with a red tulle jacket by Bill Bass, and a hand-beaded red jacket beaded with a sinewy dragon that is displayed with a feathery scarlet skirt. The jacket was donated to the collection by the late Jean Andrews.

"We set a spotlight on the mannequins, draped in vibrant color, by placing them against a black backdrop," says Chovan. "If you want to enter a discotheque from the 1070s or a trendy party from the 1990s, stop by Gearing for a few minutes."

Exhibition details:

Wacky and Wild Wardrobe opens on February 23, 2017 in GEA 117. The exhibit will be open when The University of Texas is in session: Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm until April 10, 2017