Plan a seaside escape to Phoenix Art Museum’s new fashion exhibit “The Sea” !

March 17, 2012

Featuring fashions inspired by the sea, the latest exhibit from Phoenix Art Museum highlights the sea’s influence on fashion design from the 1800′s up until 2012. The capsule collection includes over 80 pieces and focuses on 3 themes: sea life, working at sea and playing by the sea.

The Sea - fashion exhibit - Phoenix Art Museum

Here are some of our favorites…

Sea fashions - 1800's

Seaside bathing costumes, from the late 1800′s.

Boys sailor suit - 1920's

Rowe Gosport, Boy’s sailor suit, 1920′s.


Topless swimsuit

Rudy Geinrich, wool topless swimsuit, 1964.

The Sea - Fashion - Norman Norell, Emmuel Ungaro

Left: Emmanuel Ungaro evening gown, 1988. Right: Norman Norell’s “Mermaid” dress from the 1960′s has over 30,000 sequins.

Stephen Sprouse swimsuits

Stephen Sprouse swimsuits, 1980′s.

Judith Leiber - Fantasy fish minuadiere

Judith Leiber, Fantasy Fish minuadiere, 1978.

Judith Leiber - shell minuadiere

In the 70′s, Judith Leiber created a line of shell purses, for which she formed a cast metal closure. They were produced for a limited time only, because they were so expensive to manufacture.

Christian LaCroix dress - The Sea

Christian LaCroix for Patou, “Chaldee” dress and overskirt features bead and sequin embroidery on hand-painted silk gazar, 1986.

Prada coat- The Sea

Prada coat, printed silk faille with paillettes and bead embroidery, 2005.

Chanel - Terrycloth jacket

Here’s the story behind this Chanel jacket, as told by Dennita Sewell. One of Karl Lagerfeld’s clients wanted to wear her Chanel jacket while vacationing seaside, so he created this one out of terrycloth for her and then introduced them as part of his cruise/resort collection for 2011/12.

( I don’t know who she is, but if it was you, please step forward so we can give you a round of applause !)

And the piece de resistance from this exhibit ?

Chanel dress, 2012

This beautiful dress from Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring 2012 collection, Under the Sea, which was graciously donated to Phoenix Art Museum by Neiman Marcus, after their exclusive runway presentation last month. Hats off to Neiman’s for that !

The exhibit was curated by the very talented Dennita Sewell, who introduced the collection on opening night, March 3, 2012.

Dennita Sewell - The Sea

How much do you love her sailor outfit ?!!

The Sea runs until July 15 in the Ellman Fashion Gallery. Have you been to see it yet ?

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