Stephens College displays students' fashion work through the decades

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Stephens College is celebrating the 75 Years of the Stephens Fashion Program with the spring exhibit.

Current and past faculty and students designed the pieces displayed. The showcase features garments from each decade dating back to the 1940s. 

The oldest garment is from 1944, and the newest is a 2018 piece made by a current student. 

“I can’t help but look at it as a piece of time that tells a bigger story,” Monica McMurry, design interim dean of Stephens College said. “To me, clothing is somewhat like a movie or a photograph. It tells a story, and there’s a lot more to that piece that ‘oh it’s a piece of clothing.’”

This is the first display of its kind at the college. Only Stephens College work is shown with historical context, according to McMurry.

McMurry said it is the program's contribution to Women’s History Month. All pieces are created by women and are mostly for women.

One display shows the outfit of past Stephens College President Wendy Libby that she wore during her inauguration weekend. 

“Some of the pieces also kind of showcase where women were at, at that time and what was happening in culture,” McMurry said.

The exhibit team chose most of the garments from Stephens College's fashion program archives, which has more than 13,000 pieces.

McMurry said the display shows the legacy and strength of the college’s fashion program. It is a symbol of educating young women to become fashion leaders.

The display is open until May 12. The gallery’s hours can be found on Stephens College’s website.