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Cowboy boots. Bathing suits. Sneakers. Hollywood gowns. Denim jeans. Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour is Crystal Bridges’ first exhibition dedicated to fashion and the first to present American fashion as a powerful emblem of global visual culture, amplified by movies, television, red carpets, and social media. From dresses worn by first ladies to art-inspired garments to iconic fashion moments that defined a generation, Fashioning America conveys uniquely American expressions of innovation, highlights the compelling stories of both designers and wearers that center on opportunity and self-invention, and amplifies the voices of those who are often left out of dominant fashion narratives.
To underscore the influence of media, Fashioning America offers a dynamic interaction between video, imagery, and over 100 garments and accessories selected from across two centuries of fashion. The exhibition emphasizes the work of designers who immigrated to America, Native American and Black designers, as well as iconic fashion brands and their impact on visual culture in every decade. This sweeping presentation conveys how American fashion and its contributions reflect the American spirit of ingenuity on the national and world stages.