The Lois Jett Historic Costume Collection (LJHCC) in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Illinois State University invites the public to the collection’s new exhibition, She Rises: The Changing Role of Women c. 1970s, running through August 31.

She Rises focuses on how the changing role of women during the 1970s was reflected through garments. “Garments from the 1950s and 1960s such as carefully accessorized skirted ensembles and restrictive undergarments illustrate women when their role in society was more limited,” said Jennifer Banning, LJHCC director. Exhibition lead curator Samantha Flory ’17 added, “As women’s roles expanded in the 1970s, their wardrobes reflected the wider range of opportunities.”

Foundation undergarments such as girdles were abandoned and bras lost structure, resulting in a more natural silhouette for women. Pants were gradually accepted for wearing inside professional settings, not only outside. Garments made from materials such as jersey knits were comfortable to wear throughout the changing tasks women completed in a day.

The exhibition was planned and installed by students in the fashion design and merchandising program at Illinois State. This free exhibition is located in 126 Turner Hall on Illinois State’s campus and is open to the campus and surrounding community.

An exhibition reception will be held from 7–8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, in 121 Turner Hall. Curators will discuss the background and installation of the exhibition with time afterward for guests to tour the exhibition. The event is free and open to the public.

The LJHCC was created in 1962 by Lois Jett, a professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Over the years, the collection has expanded to more than 2,000 items of men’s, women’s, and children’s dress and related artifacts dating from the 1840s to today.

Gallery hours are Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. through May 4. To schedule additional times Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. contact Jennifer Banning.

3 thoughts on “She Rises exhibition at Lois Jett Historic Costume Collection gallery

  1. Patricia A Whitlock says:

    I went to ISU when Lois Jett was on staff.

  2. Gary Weede says:

    I taught across the hall from Lois for many years.

  3. Jill Ann Finn says:

    When I was a student/graduate assistant (1972 – 1979), I spent many hours in the sewing lab with Lois Jett and Rowena Lane. They worked on the collection on a daily basis. The collection was their passion.