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"The Fabric of Cultures" Exhibition Explores Ethnicity's Global Influence on Fashion


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


February 14 – June 1, 2006
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, Flushing (Klapper, Rm. 405)
Museum hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 am-7 pm; Saturday, 11 am-5 pm
Museum Website:

Public reception: Thursday, February 16, 5-7 pm
Co-Curators: Elizabeth Lowe, Eugenia Paulicelli (exhibition originator), Julia Sharp, Amy Winter

This exhibition of more than 30 garments and numerous textiles from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, the Queens College Costume Collection, designers, and private collections represents a variety of global traditions and aesthetics from past to present. Through the medium of dress, the exhibition illuminates the interplay between cultural and personal identity and the global influence of culture and ethnicity on fashion. The Fabric of Cultures also demonstrates how traditional dress is transformed and finds new life in the creations of such designers as Helene Arpels, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Emilio Pucci, Project Alabama, Lakis Gavalas (LAK), Mary Ping, Yves St. Laurent, Louis Feraud, and Mary McFadden. Examples range from ancient Peruvian textiles to the fashions of Antonio Marras, a contemporary Sardinian designer who employs traditional techniques.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum will offer a lecture series, fashion show, a student symposium entitled “Producing and Consuming Fashion: Identity in a Global Context,” and a day-long interdisciplinary conference featuring renowned scholars.

Curator’s Walk-Through
Godwin-Ternbach Museum Gallery, 405 Klapper Hall
February 16, 12:15 pm: Amy Winter, Director and Curator, Godwin-Ternbach Museum

Lecture Series
401 Klapper Hall, Queens College
Queens College experts on costume history; fashion and apparel; and clothing and textile studies

February 22, 12:15 pm: Phyllis Tortora, Prof. Emeritus, Textiles and Costume History
Dept. of Family, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences
What is Couture?

March 1, 12:15 pm: Julia Sharp, Lecturer, Textile and Apparel Studies
Dept. of Family, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences
African Textiles and Contemporary American Clothing

March 29, 12:15 pm: Elizabeth Lowe, Associate Professor, Textile and Apparel Studies
Dept. of Family, Nutrition & Exercise Sciences
Social Class and Fashion

April 3, 12:15 pm: Mary McFadden, Fashion Designer
Goddesses, Ancient Textiles and Symbols

April 10, 12:15 pm: Eugenia Paulicelli, Professor, European Languages and Literatures
Inventing European Identity Through Dress

Interdisciplinary Conference
The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity, Globalization from the Early Modern to the Post- Modern
The CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, NY
March 10, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm, Segal Theater
The conference will address the connections between the production and consumption of fashion and dress. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics, history, art, and literary studies, as well as industry practitioners and journalists will participate. Presenters will explore the close link between textiles and dress vis-à-vis globalization; technological advances in textiles and design; and cultural “production” as expresed through literature, art, history, and the media (magazines, fashion/trade shows). The aim of the conference is to explore clothing historically in both local and global contexts with a particular focus on New York, Italy, London, China and Russia.

CUNY Student Symposium
Producing and Consuming Fashion: Identity in a Global Context

April 26, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Godwin-Ternbach Museum
CUNY doctoral students, Queens College students and others working on PhD projects based on fashion and identity in a global context will present their work. Case studies will include India, Greece, Brazil, Nigeria, Morocco, New York and Russia, as well as ethnographic research on dress and identity conducted in the Queens College student community.

Interdisciplinary conference and student symposium organized by Eugenia Paulicelli.

Fashion Show
May 2, 5:00 -7:00 pm, LeFrak Concert Hall
Organized by Elizabeth Lowe and the Queens College Fashion Club
Featuring traditional costumes designed and modeled by individuals from the diverse communities of Queens and the New York metropolitan area, as well as fashions by emerging contemporary designers.


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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