Bonnie Cashin Plus Six
Monday, March 12, 2007 to Friday, April 13, 2007
Thirty three striking garments have been are being carefully described and mounted for the Bonnie Cashin Plus Six exhibition scheduled to open on March 11,2007 in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery in the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design, College of Education and Human Resources. Among the garments featured are a “ tin Lizzie coat”, ponchos, capes, a sculpted 1950’s suit featuring the New Look, a choir boy jacket, and luxurious chiffon cocktail dresses all designed by American designers who developed a reputation for their independence and vision in the post war era. These men and women to include Cashin, Hattie Carnegie, Pauline Trigere, Claire McCardell, Ceil Chapman, Norman Norell and James Galanos. All were known for breaking away from the fashion dictates and traditions of Paris after the war and to put the focus on the needs and lifestyles of the modern American woman. The adaptation of the pea coat for women’s suits, the wearing of wool for evening, the innovation of hand bags being built into coats are just some among the fashion forward ideas explored by these designers. These and many other ideas continue to inspire designers today, proving the importance of this period in American design.
The exhibition is the first of its kind for the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery in that it pulls garments from the historic collections of two Midwestern universities, the University of Nebraska and Iowa State University, and brings them together for a joint exhibition. The garments range in date from 1945 to 1975. Project director Barbara Trout and Co-Curators Jean Parsons and Susan Torntore received funding from the Big Twelve Faculty Development Program and from the Friends of the Hillestad Gallery to develop the exhibition. The exhibit opens on March 11 with a panel discussion in Room 11 of the Human Sciences Building , East Campus designed to inform the audience about the unique talents of the featured designers. Dr. Susan Torntore, curator of the Iowa State collection will present highlights of Bonnie Cashin’s work and career. Dr. Jean Parsons will focus on the collections and talents of Pauline Trigere, and Barbara Trout will share comments about the two men in the group: Norman Norell, the quintessential New Yorker, and James Galanos, the California designer of the 50’s and 60’s, and their efforts to design for the active American woman. Together they brought both realism and spontaneity to women’s wear. To conclude, Stacy Skold, TCD graduate student and collector of Bonnie Cashin garments, will provide insights into collecting twentieth century apparel.
The public is welcome to attend the opening events as well as the draping workshop that will be offered April 13th and 14th, in conjunction with the exhibit. The focus of this hands-on experience will be to explore the basic geometric draping techniques of Cashin and Trigere, and to create a prototype for a one of a kind garment.
Brown Double-Breasted Suit, 1963 (Norell)
Big Flamenco Cape, 1974 (Cashin)
Blue Green, Black, and Red Stripe Wool Suit, 1946 (MCCardell). Red/Charcoal Wool Day Suit, 1953 (Carnegie)