A State of Fashion 

June 11–September 17, 2017 Past Exhibitions
Image for Fur-trimmed day dress with metal belt, worn by
Augusta while at Northwestern University, c.1934.
Photo by Gillian Bostock Ewing. THF 2014.24.49.Fur-trimmed day dress with metal belt, worn by Augusta while at Northwestern University, c.1934. Photo by Gillian Bostock Ewing. THF 2014.24.49.

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Summer 2017 is fashion season at MOWA. The museum will feature four sartorial-themed exhibitions, viewing the world of fashion from a variety of perspectives. From a broad survey of modern fashion to the cutting-edge work of regional contemporary designers, MOWA will offer an inclusive look beyond the runway and the glossy magazines into the spirit of fashion in American society.

The Roddis Collection: American Style
See more than 100 years of fashion unveiled through twenty-six unique garments dating from 1880 to 1991. From stunning haute couture evening gowns to everyday wear, this amazing collection of women’s clothing was purchased and worn by six generations of the Roddis family of Marshfield, Wisconsin. It is both a time capsule of American fashion and a remarkable story about individual expression and taste set against a backdrop of rural Wisconsin.

Florence Eiseman: Designing Childhood for the American Century
Florence Eiseman (1899-1988) was one of Milwaukee’s most notable and creative visionaries. In 1945, she launched what would become the leading high-end children’s clothing line in the United States and was instrumental in fashioning the standard look for the Post-War American child. Her eponymous brand attracted the likes of Princess Grace of Monaco, Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, the Kennedys, and the Rockefellers. The legacy continues into the twenty-first century, with notable names such as Suri Cruise, Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy, and others wearing the fashionable brand. The exhibition will offer a cultural history of the Eiseman look from 1945 to the present through more than 100 historic garments, photographs, and objects.

Contemporary Threads: Wisconsin Fashion
The work of nine contemporary designers, changing the fashion status quo, will make a statement in MOWA’s State Gallery. Designers include Project Runway alumnae Peach Carr, Miranda Levy, Linda Breshears Marcus, Katelyn Pankoke, plus Lynne Dixon-Speller, Shannon Molter, Tama Roberts, Sara Terrell, and Heidi Witz. These designers—working across the country, yet all with a Wisconsin connection—push the boundaries of fashion as they challenge traditional definitions of form, function, and ornamentation.

Daniel Arnold: A Paparazzo for Strangers

Quickly and discretely, Daniel Arnold photographs New York City street life from the moments only NYC could produce, to instances of ordinary life almost anywhere. A Milwaukee native and currently a freelance photographer for Vogue magazine, Arnold has been called the William Eggleston of Instagram with more than 130,000 followers. In a freewheeling installation of seventy-five vivid images, MOWA will get gritty this summer with photography that communicates fashion—street-style.