“Fashioned in America” at Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum has a wonderful new exhibition about garments made here in the U.S. called “Fashioned in America“. You can see over 30 contemporary ensembles and accessories ranging from casual to high fashion, including pieces by Oscar de la Renta, J. Mendel, Nanette Lepore, and Monique Lhuillier.

Monique LhuillierMonique Lhuillier (Filipino, born 1971), Evening Dress,
Spring, 2013. 
Digitally printed silk chiffon.
Gift of Monique Lhuillier. Photo by Ken Howie.

The Phoenix Art Museum is unique in that it is one of only a handful of art museums that has a fashion collection, which includes over 5,000 pieces from the 18th century to the present. They have a designated fashion gallery that features several exhibitions per year.

Anna SuiAnna Sui (American, born 1964), Dress, Spring 2014. Polyester tulle with
cotton and nylon embroidery. Lent by Anna Sui. Photo by Ken Howie.

More than just visually interesting, “Fashioned in America” underscores the need to support domestic design and manufacturing. Only 3% of clothing worn in the U.S. is made here. Designers work best when they can collaborate in person with experienced seamstresses as their garments are being created, and local manufacturing is also a good source of employment.

Yeohlee TengYeolee Teng (American, born 1955), “Mobius” ensemble, Fall 2008.
Double-faced wool, viscose and elastane. Gift of Yeohlee Teng
in honor of the exhibition “Extending the Runway: Tatiana
Sorokko Style”. Photo by Ken Howie.

At the museum you will see a special director’s edition of the documentary “Make It in America: Empowering Global Fashion” by James Belzer on a loop. It includes interviews with top fashion designers and influencers discussing the importance of domestic apparel production. There are also some great upcoming events in conjunction with the exhibition, which is on view through March 15.

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