posted in Olympics - 08-03-2012, 12:23
The social history focus of the Sage Collection means that our storage facilities hold much more than pretty designer dresses—though we have plenty of those! While the 2012 Summer Olympics take place in that most fashionable of cities, London, we celebrate our own bit of Olympics and Indiana University history here at Sage.
This wool and silk uniform was worn by gold medal winner Ivan Fuqua in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Fuqua, a 1935 graduate of Indiana University, was a member of the winning 4x400 meter relay team. Fuqua, who earned I.U.'s first Olympic gold medal, went to to coach track at Brown University from 1947 to 1973.
The embroidered shield patch on the upper left chest features the Olympic rings. The rings, designed in 1912, debuted at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. The five colors: blue, black, red, yellow, and green, on a white background, represent colors in the flags of participating nations. The wool knit tank top and loose-fitting silk shorts have a similar silhouette to the Nike uniforms worn by U.S. track athletes today. This 1932 uniform was made in the U.S. by Spalding, the well-known athletic gear manufacturer. Athletes in the 1936 Olympics wore similar uniforms, also made by Spalding, visible in this Olympic uniform slide show from The New York Times.
Sports apparel manufacturers continually make innovations in textile technology and design to facilitate faster times and better athletic performances. The Nike track-and-field uniforms worn by American athletes in the 2012 London games incorporate dimpled fabric (similar to the surface of a golf ball) in the shorts and tiny holes in the tight-fitting tops for increased aerodynamic efficiency. While the impact of this new technology remains to be seen (Track & Field trials start today, Friday, August 3), Nike's commitment to "considered design" may soften the company's impact on the Earth. On average, uniforms from the Nike Pro TurboSpeed collection incorporate 82% recycled polyester fabric from plastic bottles.
No word on where the Pro TurboSpeed collection is made, however. The Ralph Lauren-designed blazer-and-beret ensembles for the Olympic opening ceremonies drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans alike for being manufactured in China.
posted in Kate Rowold - 01-22-2012, 11:41
Sage Collection curator Kate Rowold was featured in the article Good Design is Always in Fashion, in the December 2011 issue of She Magazine. She Magazine is a monthly magazine published by The Republic, the Columbus, Indiana newspaper.
Read the interview here.
posted in Irwin Sweeney Miller family - 12-13-2011, 15:13
left to right: Dress, pink silk and gold matelassé lamé by Madeleine Vionnet, Paris, 1928 (worn by Clemenine Miller Tangeman). Dress, silver and silk lamé, faux pearls, and rhinestones by Edward Molyneux, Paris, 1923 (worn by Elsie Irwin Sweeney). Dress, lavender silk and silver brocade, silver lace, and rhinestones by Edward Molyneux, Paris, 1923 (worn by Linnie Irwin Sweeney).
Many thanks to Andrea Lee, Masters of Arts in Art History, Indiana University, for research assistance.
Three women of the Irwin Sweeney Miller family were honored with invitations to the British court. Linnie Irwin Sweeney and her daughter Elsie were presented in 1923, and niece and granddaughter Clementine Miller (Tangeman) was presented in 1928. Just any old dress wouldn't do for such an occasion--Molyneux designed Linnie and Elsie's gowns, and Clementine chose the influential couturiere Madeleine Vionnet for her court dress.
Edward Molyneux, recommended by the British embassy, was born in London and opened his Paris couture house in 1919. Known for producing elegant, innovative, yet always-correct designs, Molyneux was a favorite of royals. He received his nickname “Captain” after being wounded and losing an eye in the First World War. Retiring in 1950 to concentrate on painting, Molyneux relaunched his fashion house in the 1960s, handing it off to his nephew in 1967. He passed away in 1970.
Madeleine Vionnet was the first designer to fully utilize the bias cut, producing liquid gowns that slipped over the head and had few, if any, closures. Her skillful cutting and draping directly on half-scale dress forms allowed Vionnet to work out her innovative designs, resulting in dresses that fit like a second skin, often incorporating geometric shapes, knots, pintucks, and appliqué details.
Historically, hierarchical cultures usually required certain styles of clothing to be worn while in the presence of the ruler. In Europe, this reinforced notions of social standing and fostered the silk and lace industries. Regulations about what was to be worn, according to the status of the wearer and dictated by the current ruler, provided guidance for those attending court occasions and for those who made the garments.
Formal, fashionable evening dress was required of those being presented. However, at some points in history (most notably in the late 18th century), court dress became fossilized, rigidly adhering to an earlier extreme style featuring wide gowns with panniers, at a time when the current silhouette was fairly narrow and columnar. The court dresses exhibited here display the interplay between tradition, innovation, and the modernity of the 20th century.
The women wear veils and the three white ostrich feathers which symbolized the Court of Saint James. Their glittering dresses are the height of stylish evening wear, and feature the rising hemlines of the 1920s which drastically altered women’s fashion. These narrow dresses include long trains which, especially on Clementine’s Vionnet dress on the left with the highest hemline, look somewhat out of place on the shorter, simpler gowns.
Eventually the court presentation ritual and formal court dress was eliminated, replaced by garden parties in the 1950s. The Queen of England now hosts at least three garden parties annually, which over 30,000 guests attend.
posted in exhibitions - 12-02-2011, 15:28
Fashioning a Legacy Irwin Sweeney Miller Style
In the 19th and 20th centuries, art and design was nurtured in Southern Indiana by the Irwin Sweeney Miller family. Best known for their community involvement and architectural innovation, these business leaders further expressed their appreciation of art and design in their manner of dress.
The men, women, and children of the Irwin Sweeney Miller family wore fashionable clothing that reflected the evolving aesthetic seen in cities such as New York, London, Paris, and Berlin. They brought to Columbus the cutting-edge style of the tailor-made, ready-to-wear, and couture designs from around the world.
Fashion, as an element of our material culture, is molded by a wide array of factors such as social mores, economy, war, technology, music, and art. Through the use of color, surface design, line, space, and volume, the fashions exhibited here reflect many of these influences.
The women’s dress reveals shifting ideals of femininity. The silhouettes of the ensembles range from exaggerated hourglass to columnar. Propriety and modesty are expressed by concealing or exposing parts of the body. The line and shape of the gowns evoke a sense of the era and the rhythm of popular dance - waltz, Charleston, foxtrot, and the twist.
Both men’s and women’s sartorial styles of the 1930s and 1940s mirror the structured, masculine line of the military uniform. The fabrics in these ensembles tell a story of advancement in textile technology and economic systems that took us from a world of cotton, silk, linen, and wool into a universe of synthetic blends.
Finally, in the same manner as the architecture, furniture, interior and landscape design embraced by the Irwin Sweeney Miller family, these ensembles echo art movements of their period including art nouveau, art deco, orientalism, modernism, and op art.
Fashioning a Legacy Irwin Sweeney Miller Style provides a looking glass into the past and reveals the image of a family whose taste and sensibilities set the fashion pace in Southern Indiana, leaving us a heritage of style and innovation.