XX: A Century of Fashion Exhibit Featured at the GumTree Museum of Art in Tupelo

March 4, 2022 - March 30, 2022

Three dresses on a white background.

The Mississippi State University Historic Costume and Textiles Collection presents XX: A Century of Fashion a display of historic garments from the 20th century. Over 20 pieces from the MSU Collection visually tell the evolution of womenswear styles during this important century of fashion.

The garments on display are actual examples of fashions and clothing worn by every-day people and include designer labels like Chanel and Anne Klein as well as pieces by unknown makers and lesser-known labels influenced by the styles seen in popular fashion magazines and looks on the runway.

According to Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU Department of Art Gallery Director and curator of the exhibition, “The main title of the exhibit begins with “XX” – it denotes the Roman numeral for 20. We chose to represent the number 20 as the double X mark because it appears very large and epic. This emphasizes the importance of this century. The fashions of the 20th century correspond to iconic moments in history and even have a major influence on the fashion trends we wear today.”

Visitors to the exhibition will learn about the fashion trends of the 20th century by viewing actual historic garments. Beginning in the early 1900s all the way through the start of the 2000s, every look in the exhibit celebrates the distinct styles of a decade: from the lace dresses of the Edwardian era, the elegance of the roaring 20s, effects of rationing during World War II, the wide skirt party dresses of the 50s, youth movements and freedom of the 60s and 70s, power suits of the 80s, and minimal styles of the 90s.

Established in 1985 by Dr. Catherine Boyd, the MSU Historic Costume and Textiles Collection houses over 1,500 items relating to the material culture of dress of the 19th through the early 21st century. The Collection is operated by the Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) concentration in the MSU School of Human Sciences. The purpose of the Collection is primarily for enhancement of teaching and to provide students with professional experience and knowledge that will prepare them for a career in the fashion industry. The Collection also provides opportunities for students, faculty, and the general public to research and experience the interpretation of historical objects through exhibitions and displays.

For more information visit www.historiccostume.msstate.edu.


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