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UMFA Exhibit Explores Women's Fashion Since 1895
Streamlines: Fashioning the Appearance of the Modern Woman

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH.- From constriction and over-the-top to pure convenience, follow the trends of women’s fashions in Streamlines: Fashioning the Appearance of the Modern Woman, a retrospective exhibition of women’s fashions in the twentieth century, on view at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) through June 30, 2005.

“The UMFA is delighted to showcase a subject matter that is not often exhibited in art museums,” states UMFA Executive Director David Dee. “Streamlines makes evident the processes used by designers in response to contemporary social issues and validates fashion design as a form of art expression.”

Streamlines demonstrates how fashion reflects the dynamic and ever-increasing pace of the times. Organized by decade, this exhibition traces the silhouettes or lines of women’s clothing as they evolved from Edwardian constriction to the ease required by today’s lifestyle demands. Throughout the twentieth century, women, literally hemmed in by corsets and voluminous skirts, inched towards a free stride as socioeconomic and political forces moved at an unprecedented speed. An expanding dynamic of innovative thinking in design and function, as well as dramatic changes in fabrics and manufacturing, all reflect the cultural and sociological shifts that occurred.

Historically, as the Gay Nineties eased into the early 1900s, fashion lost its love of over-the-top decoration and began its devotion to the line. This direction eventually led to an aesthetic of such simplicity that the line itself became its own decoration. Hence, this retrospective documents the development of these Streamlines.

The garments and accessories displayed have been selected from the Museum’s own collection, which consists primarily of donations from Utah residents–hats by Lilly Daché, gowns from Christian Dior, Geoffrey Beene and many other “name” designers. The exhibition aims to inspire nostalgia and memories. After all, what woman doesn’t remember what she wore on the important days of her life?

To underscore the drama of these milestones and the educational value of the study of clothing, the exhibition concludes with costume designs from Ballet West, Pioneer Theater Company, Utah Shakespearean Festival and Utah Symphony and Opera. This exhibition is guest curated by Margot Shott and sponsored in part by the Rodney H. & Carolyn Hansen Brady Charitable Foundation.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Utah’s premier visual arts museum, is located on the University of Utah campus at 410 Campus Center Drive. The UMFA’s mission is to engage visitors in discovering meaningful connections with the artistic expressions of the world’s cultures. General admission fee is $4 adults, $2 seniors and youth ages 6-18, children 5 and under free, U of U students, faculty, staff – free. Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., closed Mondays, Weekends, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m For more information on programs and exhibitions, call (801) 581-7332 or visit

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