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, Broadway, Baby: Fashion on Stage, running through January 28, 2022.
Broadway, Baby showcases ensembles inspired by Broadway stage musicals. Time periods represented range from the late 19th century to the 1990s and represent shows from The Color Purple and Hair to Mamma Mia and Rent. Visitors learn functions and elements of costume design, how costume design differs for the stage than for screen, and issues that impact historical accuracy in period stage shows.
The exhibition was planned and installed by students in the fashion design and merchandising program at Illinois State, including Kelsi Smith 20’, Tanaijah Fields 21’, Julie Mooberry 22’, and Ye Fatuki 22’. Mooberry notes, “There are 16 musicals represented with garments and accessories from our collection that are of a similar vintage and style as a garment or ensemble worn in the musical.”
A highlight of the exhibition is a Cruella De Vil-themed display inspired by The 101 Dalmatians Musical. Fatuki explains, “I really wanted to showcase Cruella’s style: cruel, rude, egotistic but fashionable.” This was accomplished with two dramatic black and white ensembles.
This free exhibition is in Turner Hall, room 126 on Illinois State’s campus and is open to the campus and surrounding community.
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, textiles, and related artifacts from around the world dating from 700 CE to today. Follow the LJHCC on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and additional information about holdings. Gallery hours through December 3 are Mondays 11 a.m.–12 p.m. and Tuesdays 9–11 a.m. It will also be open Sunday, October 24, and Sunday, November 14 from 1–4 p.m. To schedule additional times Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., or for more information, contact Jennifer Banning.