New fashion experience to open at the Indiana State Museum


Staff reports

INDIANAPOLIS — This month, visitors can welcome the coming of spring through the “Color of Style,” a new experience at the Indiana State Museum.

Whether we think about it or not, who we are influences how we dress — and the colors that we wear. This new exhibit showcases more than 50 outfits from the museum’s expansive clothing and costume collection, including everyday wear from the 1800s, a party dress from the 1920s, an outfit from Gary, Indiana’s the Jackson 5 and pieces from Hoosier fashion designers Stephen Sprouse and Bill Blass.

The Color of Style is an opportunity for the museum to showcase its collection of historic clothing, said Meghan Smith, curator of the exhibit. The displays will feature everything from high fashion gowns to homemade baby clothes and give visitors a chance to reminisce about their own fashion histories.

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Entering the exhibit, the experience seeks to immerse visitors in color as they wind their way through a tunnel of color on their way in. Upon entering, guests can take a quiz to discover which color best represents them. Inside the experience, nine fashion areas feature outfits from different decades and even centuries, divided by their colors: red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple, pink, white and black.

Visitors of all ages can get creative in the hands-on Style Studio where they’ll sketch their own unique fashions, gather in ideas from inspiration boards and create their own patterns to show off their individual fashion tastes. Elsewhere in the exhibit, visitors can cast votes to determine “Who wore it better?” for assorted iconic fashions, try on colorful accessories and pose for the cover of a magazine.

While the experience looks at the evolution of color choices and style over time, modern-day Hoosier designers will also be featured in special videos, including textile artist Kate Ellis, artist and indigo dyer Rowland Rickets and up-and-coming fashion designer Yemisi Sanni. Also, fashions and personal stories from real, everyday people will be shared within the multi-media experience itself, alongside the museum collection’s pieces.

“This new experience allows visitors to explore their own sense of style and think about how they associate different colors with themselves or others,” said Cathy Ferree, president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. “Visitors have a chance to explore the stories of Hoosiers throughout time and engage in self-exploration and creativity throughout the experience.”

Color of Style will be at the Indiana State Museum from March 16 through July 28, and entry is included with purchase of general museum admission. This experience is supported in part by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis.

Pictured: ‘The Color of Style’ exhibit features clothing from across the decades, including this brightly-colored dress from the 1960s. Submitted photo