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New exhibits at Dixon Gallery and Gardens explore the history of fashion

Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 and Ramona Sonin, Flowerful: Fashioning the Armored Feminine are the new exhibits at the Dixon, ending this October.
Credit: Meka Wilson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are two new fashion exhibits at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960, explores the athletic wear women wore during the 19th and 20th centuries.

This exhibition holds 65 outfits with more than 480 historic objects from Western Europe and North America, composed from the collections of the FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) Museum in Los Angeles.

Credit: Meka Wilson
Credit: Meka Wilson

Among these costumes are outfits used for basketball, motorcycle riding, fencing, roller derby, ice skating, cheerleading and other sports, from popular brands such as Champion and includes accessories from Balenciaga and Chanel.

"I think it's pretty cool to see the way the clothes have changed over the years. There's a lot of clothes in this exhibition that you would never think, someone would wear to the beach or someone would wear to go on a walk or shopping or whatever that activity might be. So it's a little bit of a march through time to come through the exhibition, and when you get more towards the 1960s it starts looking a little bit more familiar to us," said Julie Pierotti, Martha R. Robinson curator at Dixon Gallery and Gardens. 

The Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 exhibit concludes October 16th of this year.

Ramona Sonin, Flowerful: Fashioning the Armored Feminine, explores Sonin's dedication to couture design.

"Sonin's works a lot of time has a kind of structure to them in certain areas, either at the neck or at the bodice, but they also have kind of a free flow to them as well. So that kind of contrast between the toughness of the structure, and the ethereal femininity of the skirt, is what makes her work really really unique, and kind of dream like and fantastical."

"We are just thrilled to be showing this unique talent that we have right here in Memphis", said Pierotti.

Sonin works out of her West Memphis studio to sketch and design gowns, using fabrics and other accessories from the Los Angeles Fashion District. There's a special nod to femininity on the collar of Sonin's gowns as well.

Credit: Meka Wilson
Credit: Meka Wilson

In this exhibit, you will find the sketches framed alongside the gown, as well as charcoal drawings of women that Sonin finds inspiring.

The Ramona Sonin, Flowerful: Fashioning the Armored Feminine exhibit concludes October 23rd of this year. 

Friendly reminder that admission to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens is free until 2024. 

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