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Texas Fashion Collection shows off variety of wedding gowns

Wedding dress silk with laceDresses 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 the 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 to Oct. 24

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.”      

(Right, an 1874 gown of silk with gathered front panel trimmed in lace. Courtesy of Steven Porterfield, photo by Laurie Ruth Photography.)

The exhibiSatin bowstion 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.

(Left, a 1948 gown of tulle accented with lace and satin bows. Photo by Blake H. Hampton.)

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 fromFaircloth gown traditional, historic silhouettes to dresses from the 1960s and 1970s, when previously acceptable norms for bridal wear were challenged. 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.

(Right, this gown was designed by Michael Faircloth and features hand cut and leather lace bodice. Courtesy of Michael Faircloth. Photo by Laurie Ruth Photography.)

“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.”

A gallery opening on June 28 will include a gallery talk at 11 a.m. by Porterfield.

The free exhibition is due to a generous donation from Sue and Christopher Bancroft in honor of Chalfant.

- Margarita Venegas, News Promotions

Posted on: Wed 06 August 2014

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