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The Illustrated Woman: Fashion Images from the Sage Collection

The Illustrated Woman demonstrates how fashion illustrations express shifting standards of beauty and the collective cultural, social, and aesthetic ideals of their time. These images create a shared visual culture that not only communicates changes in silhouettes, fabric, color, and hairstyles, but also encompasses variations in posture, gesture, and facial expression. In 2016, photography and video have largely replaced fashion illustration, but serve the same ends—transmitting changing ideals of beauty as well as promoting and selling new fashion products.

The images on view in The Illustrated Woman
are just a small sample of fashion-related documents, publications, video, and ephemera from the Sage Collection, part of the new School of Art and Design at Indiana University. These materials, along with women’s, children’s, and men’s clothing, comprise a 25,000+ piece social history and fashion collection in existence since 1937.​​

The Illustrated Woman: Fashion Images from the Sage Collection, is an official Indiana University Beauty Themester event, and will be on view in the Scholars' Commons of the Herman B Wells Library through December 9.

Join us at the opening reception for The Illustrated Woman Tuesdsay, September 20 between 3:30 and 5:00 pm. In celebration of this Themester event, Sage Collection Curator Kelly Richardson will give a brief talk, "The Illustrated Woman" at Hazelbaker Hall, Wells Library E159, at 4 pm.


The Dark Side of Beauty

The Dark Side of Beauty: Film and Panel Discussion
When: Monday, September 12, 4:00 to 5:45 p.m.
Where: Hodge Hall room 2083

In celebration of the Fall 2016 Beauty Themester, The School of Art + Design will present The Dark Side of Beauty, Monday, September 12, 4-5:45 pm in Hodge Hall, room 2083.

The Dark Side of Beauty program features a screening of the film The Illusionists, followed by a panel discussion. Though philosophical questions concerning the nature, purpose, and even possibility of beauty in our contemporary world are debatable, the effects of monolithic Western beauty and fashion ideals are not. Multi-billion dollar industries saturate our lives with images of unattainable beauty, exporting body hatred from New York to Beirut to Tokyo. The documentary film The Illusionists (52 minutes run time) examines the marketing of unattainable beauty around the world.

Panelists include Dr. Nancy Rudd, chair of the Body Image Health Task Force at the Ohio State University, Dr. Jennifer Maher from Gender Studies at Indiana University, and Dr. Radhika Parameswaran, Chair of the Journalism Department at Indiana University. Panel members will explore and are known for their research and pedagogy regarding these unattainable and misleading images found in fashion media, video games, films, television and pornography and their effects on women, and increasingly, men and children as well.

The screening and panel discussion are made possible by support from the College of Arts and Sciences Themester on Beauty and the School of Art + Design Bill Blass Design Lecture Series.

These events are free and open to the public. For information on this event, please call 812-855-5223, or contact Sharron Lennon at

Dress is a vehicle for personal expression, a reflection of society, an art form. The clothing that people have worn throughout history provides insight into their lives and customs. In the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection at Indiana University—which includes clothing, accessories, and related items from the past as well as the present—our social history comes to life.

Overseen by the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, the collection serves as a resource for students, professionals, and the public. The Collection contains both a high-quality permanent museum collection intended for exhibition and research and a hands-on collection used in classroom instruction and fashion design studios. In existence for nearly 70 years, the Sage Collection was founded by Elizabeth Sage, the first professor of Clothing and Textiles at Indiana University.

Just a sample of the diverse Sage holdings includes military, occupational, and sports uniforms; hand-crafted haute couture ensembles; ready-to-wear apparel; Senior Cords, Indiana’s unique expression of school pride and affiliation; a large button collection; and garments designed by Hoosier natives Bill Blass and Norman Norell. Home sewing patterns, fashion publications, videotapes, and DVDs round out this extensive and important collection.

The Sage Collection is available to students, scholars, and those interested in dress. To view objects from the collection, please contact Curator Kelly Richardson at or call 812-855-4627. Appointments must be scheduled approximately two weeks in advance.