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Hidden Gem at Drexel

BY LINDSEY HATFIELD (www.lindsey.searchphillylistings.com)
 
You’re probably familiar with Drexel University, but you may not be aware that they have one of the most extensive and well preserved historical costume collections in the U.S. with over 14,000 items. The University started collecting historical garments in 1898, and until recently, the collection has been primarily used as a teaching and research resource for the students of Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. The collection has come into a new era with the help of current curator Clare Sauro and has been organized, catalogued, and is now on display to the public for the first time in its history. As a former student of Drexel’s Fashion Design program, I was able to reference the collection when creating my own designs, and I’m so excited that it’s available for everyone to enjoy right now!
 

Photo courtesy of Drexel University.

Photo courtesy of Drexel University.

 
Most notably, you’ll be able to see garments designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, Halston, Mary Quant, Christian Dior, and Philadelphia native couturier Ralph Rucci. You’ll also see a show stopping piece worn and donated by Princess Grace of Monaco — a floor length gown embroidered and embellished with real coral (pictured below).
 
Gown worn and donated by Princess Grace. Photo courtesy of Drexel University.

Gown worn and donated by Princess Grace. Photo courtesy of Drexel University.

 
For a limited engagement, a selection of garments from the collection is on display during the exhibit “Immortal Beauty: Highlights from the Robert & Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection” through December 12. This exhibit is free and open to the public Tuesday – Sunday from 11am–6pm and can be found at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at the URBN Annex, 3401 Filbert St.
 
For more information about the collection click here or for information about the “Immortal Beauty” exhibit, click here.
**Photos used in this post are from Drexel’s website.
 
Photo courtesy of Drexel University.

Photo courtesy of Drexel University.

 

1 Comment

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  • Kent Reichert

    Thanks for this. Can’t wait to see it with my wife (who might be in the collection in a few years)!

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