Of Another Fashion: Claiming America through Dress

Kathleen Asano on the cover of Scene (a post-WWII Japanese American cultural magazine); January 1952

We are collecting objects for a groundbreaking museum exhibition titled “Of Another Fashion: Claiming America through Dress” that explores fashion history through the dress practices and lived experiences of women of color. To read the full description of the exhibition (and get a peek at some of the other objects we’ve already collected!), please see the original announcement here and the digital archive here. If you’d like to be a part of this exhibition, please see below.

** Contributing to the Exhibition **

We are looking for donations that will enhance the breadth and depth of this exhibition. Items we are interested include, but are not limited to:

  • Handmade, store-bought, or altered garments and accessories. Please note that garments do not need to be in perfect condition. The life of the garment is important to us!
  • Family or vintage photographs featuring women of color in fashionable looks
  • Newspaper and magazine articles and advertisements targeting women of color. Original prints are useful.
  • Other sartorial ephemera, such as accessories, packaging, cosmetics etc.

Please provide as much information as possible about the objects—for example, who made or designed them, who wore them, where they were used and how and why they were passed down to you. It is especially helpful if you send photographs of the pieces for consideration since we cannot accept all the objects offered to the collection.

The goal of this exhibition is to honor the life and memories of your treasures. Our fashion and textiles museum expert will make sure your items are well cared for and returned to you in as good or, when possible, better condition. The condition of your garment will determine the method of display—we will not display or store your objects in a manner that can cause further harm. You will be listed as a donor and items will be returned to you or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the donor’s wishes.

If you have or know of material, visual, and textual objects that you believe we should consider, please contact us at threadbared.75@gmail.com. (Include “Of Another Fashion” in the subject line.) Please note that there is no firm deadline for submissions at the moment but early entries are especially welcome as they will help to shape the direction of the exhibition and help to determine the size and space of the exhibition.

Costs, in time and materials, for shipping and storing items are quite substantial. Our museum expert estimates that each object will require approximately $100 to appropriately store each object (shipping and display costs excluded). We would greatly appreciate your help toward meeting these expenses and hope that you will accompany your gift with some of the funds necessary to help us preserve it.

Mary Mammon, the face of the New Chinatown Girl, as portrayed in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (June 1941)