Monday, October 16, 2017

Fringe Elements at the Kent State Museum of Fashion

July was a busy museum month for me - I spent a lot of time up at Kent State taking in their new exhibits. Fringe Elements opened on July 28, 2017 and I was there opening day. The exhibit celebrates one of the most fashionable and used forms of basic ornamentation, reaching across eras and cultures, timeless in its use and presentation because of its movement and drama - fringe. Here are some highlights from the exhibit:

This form of fringe is a natural extension of a garment, and not only acts as a decoration, but as a wick, forming a natural barrier to moisture. 

Purple suede vest (English), c. 1960s

Matching purple suede pants (English), c. 1960s

Plain Indian leather dress with heavy beading, c. 1880-1900

Dress beading and fringe detail

Integral Fringe
For textiles which are woven, the fringe is a natural extension of the warp threads beyond the weft; they are often finished off by knotting the extensions.

Braided black shawl, Colombian, c. 1960-1976

Shawl fringe detail

Ivory silk crepe and silk fringe dress, American, c. 1930s

Bodice fringe detail

Woven dress (designer Proenza Schouler), c. 2015

Dress fringe detail

Beaded Fringe
Beads provide weight, sound, and a reflective surface for drama.

American handbags, c. 1910s

Blue wool Dolman cape, Chinese, c. 1883

Beaded fringe detail

Black silk Georgette evening dress, c. 1920

Silver beads and sequin fringe detail

Pink silk evening dress (Yves St. Laurent), c. 1969

Glass bead and sequin fringe detail

Tassels and Fly Fringe
The most elaborate of the fringe styles, tassels and fly fringe are often formed or suspended from intricately woven lattices or net. While the tassel has been in use for thousands of years, fly fringe was developed in the 1700s and structured from little tufts of fabric or yarn incorporated into the fringe.

Beige wool Dolman cape with fly fringe, American, c. 1878

Fly fringe detail

Black silk velvet vest with silk tassels, Eastern European, c. 1900s

Tasseled fringe detail

White silk dress with chenille fringe and silk tassels, American, c. 1860s

Chenille fringe and silk tassel detail

Fringe Elements continues to show at the Kent State Museum through July 1, 2018. What I've featured here is just a fraction of the garments and types of fringe on display spanning across eras and cultures. Do visit! 

For more photographs from the Fringe Elements exhibit, please visit my Pinterest page. Blessings and happy sewing!

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