The newest exhibit of the Fashion Archives and Museum (FA&M) will open to the public on March 30, 2024, from noon to 4:00 p.m. “Instrumental Fashions: Attire and Song” explores the long-standing relationship between the latest fashions and current hit songs about clothing.

“Music and fashion have more in common than one might think,” explained FA&M director, Dr. Karin J. Bohleke, “Like fashion, musical genres have their moment of prominence, only to have another style emerge to replace them as newcomers on the scene attempt to differentiate themselves from the current trends. In addition, musicians incorporate keen observations on contemporary society. Naturally, fashions—from the elegant to the absurd—find themselves immortalized in catchy lyrics.”

Visitors will enjoy historical boots and whether they were really “Made for Walking,” as well as the “Lady in Red,” the “Devil with a Blue Dress on,” a selection of “Sharp Dressed” men, and many other examples of fashions explored in pop songs. But sadly, unless someone has one to donate, the permanent collection has no yellow polka dot bikinis from the 1950s.

The Fashion Archives and Museum is uniquely comprised of a 15,000-item collection of mostly clothing donations dating back from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. The clothes worn by men, women and children assist in expanding the knowledge and understanding of the cultural value as well as the artistic and historical importance. The Fashion Archives and Museum collaborates with faculty and students by providing a dynamic learning environment with hands-on opportunities for students all while letting the public simultaneously enjoy it.

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The exhibit runs through November 14.