Vintage fashion lovers, rejoice! The new exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum, “Modern Spirit,
Fashion of the 20s ”opened this weekend and it’s amazing. Organized by Dennita Sewell,
the exhibition presents the fashion of the roaring twenties and offers an in-depth look at youth
styles that liberated American women. The new exhibition features vintage clothing and
accessories, 1920s fashion magazine covers and the best collection of vintage hats you are likely to
Some of the highlights include dresses from designers Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Jean Patou and
Madeleine Vionnet; all the top designers of the time who captured the new spirit of urban America
and freed women from their corseted past.
“When I started to organize this collection, I was struck by the fact that the 1920s were the first period of
whose clothes still feel relevant today, ”says Dennita Sewell, fashion design curator for
Phoenix Art Museum.
This relevance is palpable: vintage clothing has been gaining popularity for several
The years and styles of this era have a strong influence on the modern collections of some of the
the best fashion designers. Vintage stores are multiplying, fueled by the
demand for unique vintage pieces that women want for their everyday wardrobe.
An entire wall of the exhibit features covers of 1920s magazines from Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar,
offering another glimpse into the era when Art Deco came of age. These nifty covers feature
many of the best illustrators and graphic designers of the day; you will also see large photos
images on the wall of Edward Steichen, a prominent photographer whose work has appeared
regularly in Vogue and Vanity Fair in the 1920s and 1930s. Steichen is credited for
creating the first modern fashion photoshoot in 1911.
The exhibition is rich in fashion history and offers a unique perspective on clothing and the
cultural influences that contributed to the emergence of the new “modern spirit” in America.
It runs from now until February 10 in the Ellman Fashion Design Gallery. The art of the phoenix
The museum will present a series of events this fall – including lectures, lectures and films – which
coincide with the exhibition. For more information visit phxart.org online or call 602-257-1880.