Past Exhibitions and Events

Detail of intricately and heavily beaded yellow silk.

Texas Fashion Collection presents "Labor of Luxury" at NorthPark Center, Dallas

April 8, 2024 — Shimmering sequins, dense beads, and delicate embroidery transform quotidian garments into extraordinary works of art. While many Euro-American luxury designers have developed followings based on these sophisticated techniques, few people realize most fashion surface design is executed in another part of the world: India.

The Texas Fashion Collection presents "Labor of Luxury: The Art of Embroidery from India to the World," which will be displayed at NorthPark Center in Dallas from April 8 through May 19. The exhibition is free to the public and accessible during NorthPark’s open hours. It can be viewed near Nordstrom Court on the west wing of the Center.

Labor of Luxury features fifteen designs drawn from the permanent collection of the Texas Fashion Collection, an archive of nearly 20,000 garments and accessories housed within the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas in Denton. These high fashion garments offer opportunities to reconsider the histories of work by designers Mary McFadden, Zandra Rhodes, Halston, Todd Oldham, and Dries Van Noten – all designers whose highly embellished garments relied on the expertise of Indian artisans for their production. The exhibition also highlights Indian designers who engage with their cultural heritage to craft global-appeal garments.  Featured Indian designers include Naeem Khan, ASHISH, Manish Arora, and the brand Papa Don’t Preach.

The exhibition was curated by Annette Becker, TFC director, with support from Ailie Pankonien, TFC collection manager, and students Anna Smith, Annie Puga, Collin Farley, Gabby Goldstein, Jarryd Lara and Isabel Saldivar.

A second iteration of this exhibition will be on view in the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design Gallery from Oct. 1 through Feb. 1, 2025.  Further information is forthcoming.

Exhibition Dates, Hours, and Location
April 8–May 19, 2024
For NorthPark Center hours, see the NorthPark Center's Visit web page.
Address: 8687 N Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75225
Location: Near Nordstrom Court, on the west side of NorthPark Center

People at a shopping mall looking at mannequins in a show by the TFC

Velvet hatlet with gold birds on the top and face netting

Hats: Humor & High Design — presented by the Texas Fashion Collection & the Milliners Guild

March 1, 2022 — From Zoolander to Moschino, fashion uses outrageousness and humor to catch our attention. During the turmoil of World War II, the “Mad Hatter of Chicago” Benjamin Green-Field, pictured here with a hat model, declared, “Anything which makes people laugh at this point in world history may be said to have its excuse for being.”

The Milliners Guild and Texas Fashion Collection announced their collaboration on a fashion exhibition titled Hats: Humor and High Design. Free to all NorthPark visitors from March 7 to May 15, the exhibition celebrates fashionable laughs and headwear as a space for stylistic experimentation. Featured designs include the top 10 finalists of the Milliners Guild "Bes-Ben: Humor and High Design Hat Competition" alongside contemporary and historical milliners such as Stephen Jones, Cigmond Meachen, Byron Lars, Benjamin Green-Field, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Jack McConnell. On public view for the first time will be unique creations from the TFC holdings by Dallas-based milliners Ian Dellar, Sue Dooley, and Edna Mye

This exhibition was inspired by Benjamin Green-Field's capricious and surrealist millinery designs. Known under the label Bes-Ben, his hats featured unusual trims such as dancing rabbits, playing cards, and golden birds. The exhibition features two original Bes-Ben hats alongside examples from other milliners who bring wit and whimsy to their designs. This project revels in the collective imagination and ingenuity displayed by milliners of the past 90 years. 

The exhibition was curated by Annette Becker, director of the Texas Fashion Collection, part of the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, and Laura Del Villaggio, milliner, teacher and member of the Milliners Guild.

The Milliners Guild is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the public’s awareness of the skill set and products used in the headwear trade. Its membership includes small business owners, seasoned artisans and emerging designers. The Guild supports those who design, produce, and promote handmade headwear by offering education, access to resources and global exposure. 

Exhibition Dates, Hours and Location
March 7–May 15, 2022
Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sunday: Noon–6 p.m.

NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75225


Detail of boxy black pinstripe jacket with randomly placed pockets and colorful dice buttons and blo

Texas Fashion Collection looks ahead to delight in the spring exhibition

Aug. 19, 2021: In partnership with the CVAD Galleries, the Texas Fashion Collection will open the spring exhibition "Delight: Selections from the Texas Fashion Collection" on Jan. 25, 2022, said Annette Becker, TFC director and curator. Running through May 21, the project will feature more than 35 wide-ranging examples of the collection's world-class holdings, from elite Parisian haute couture to kitschy digital prints to playful pop art in the CVAD Gallery, inside of the UNT Art Building.

Drawing inspiration from a New York Times best-selling collection of essays, "The Book of Delights" by Ross Gay, poet and English professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., the exhibition encourages visitors to seek joy, curiosity, and whimsy in the selected artifacts and their accompanying stories. Featured designers include UNT alumnus Michael Faircloth, Dallas-based Page Boy Maternity, and Texan Todd Oldham, as well as internationally renowned designers such as Vera Wang, Rei Kakwakubo, Patrick Kelly and Cristobal Balenciaga, among others. Exhibition-related programming is forthcoming, Becker said.

CVAD Gallery, UNT Art Building

CVAD Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: Noon–5 p.m. | Thursday: Noon–8 p.m.
Address: 1201 W. Mulberry St., Art Building, Room 160


Image credit: Patrick Kelly, designer, a pinstripe skirt suit with novelty dice print and buttons (detail), Spring-Summer 1989, Museum Purchase, Texas Fashion Collection. Image description: Detail of boxy black pinstripe jacket with randomly placed pockets and colorful dice buttons and blouse with black-and-white dice motif on a mannequin.

"Fiore Fiesta" nightwear set by designer Emilio Pucci.

Fashion in Residence, NorthPark Center, Dallas

March 29, 2021 — Celebrating a century of at-home dress at NorthPark Center in Dallas, the Texas Fashion Collection's Fashion in Residence exhibition explores the design innovations and cultural changes associated with clothing worn in private, domestic spaces. From transforming homes into venues for entertaining during Prohibition in the 1920s to the COVID-19 pandemic reshaping our living spaces into primary sites for leisure, our wardrobes have long responded to the changing demands of our times. Curated by TFC Director Annette Becker, the exhibition is scheduled from March 29 through June 6, 2021.

From a design perspective, at-home contexts have inspired styles previously unconsidered by Euro-American fashion consumers, Becker said. While American designers turning to the Middle East and Asia expanded their design vocabularies, this cultural curiosity also resulted in the appropriation and exotification of traditional non-Western dress and culture forms. The remnants of that humanistic yet problematic inspiration-seeking remain today in the forms of caftans, wide-legged trousers, and kimono-inspired leisurewear.

Within American popular culture, advances in at-home dress empowered women by gently challenging the acceptable dress boundaries. While society did not widely accept women wearing pants until the 1970s, hostess ensembles included bifurcated garments as early as the 1920s. When televisions flooded American homes in the 1950s, designer Claire McCardell designed the first “television suit,” an ensemble between a house dress and nighttime pajamas. The 1960s sexual revolution pushed lingerie out of the bedroom and onto the pages of fashion magazines, enlivening intimate apparel options. In 2020, Nell Diamond, the creative director of “the fashion world’s favorite home brand,” designed the trademarked “Nap Dress,” a lightweight cotton garment made for many people’s new favorite at-home leisure activity.

Fashion in Residence draws from the nearly 20,000 historical and designer garments and accessories of the Texas Fashion Collection. Part of the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas and housed at the Denton campus, this unique repository collects and documents historical dress and high fashion from past centuries. The Texas Fashion Collection was created by various notable groups and individuals whose vision and style continue to inspire students, researchers, and visitors.

The UNT College of Visual Arts and Design fosters creative futures for its diverse student population through rigorous arts-based education, studio practice, scholarship, and research.

Image: Caftan designed by Bill Blass, manufactured by Maurice Rentner, silk jersey knit, 1966, a gift to the TFC by Neiman Marcus. Inset: Vogue, September 1966.

Media Mentions

March 29: D Magazine article — "UNT's Historical Fashion Collection is on View at NorthPark Center"

March 29: DallasCulture Map article — "Comfy Quarantine Fashion Inspires Stylish New

Students sitting in chairs sketching garments on mannequins, text at top

Special Event: You're invited! Register today!

Ever wanted to take a sneak peek into UNT’s famous Texas Fashion Collection? Here’s your chance!

The UNT Alumni Association is presenting UNT Alumni Live! with Annette Becker, (2015, M.A.) curator of the TFC. You will get an up-close look and great commentary as Annette takes you inside the vault to see some of the extraordinary and memorable pieces in the 20,000-piece collection.

April 30, 2020 | 4 p.m., CST

UNT Alumni Live! airs via Zoom and Facebook Live every Thursday at 4 p.m. CST as a presentation of the UNT Alumni Association. All alumni, faculty, staff and students are welcome!

1947 black and white photo of Stanley Marcus standing with four fashion designers

TFC Talk: April 21, 2020 | 5:30 p.m.

Reservations not required

Talk Title: The Oscars of Fashion: How Dallas Became a Fashion Capital
Location: The Town of Highland Park Harvey R. "Bum" Bright Library, 4700 Drexel Dr., Highland Park, TX 75205

Description: Paris. Milan. Tokyo. Dallas? Yes, Dallas! Our city has long served as one of the world’s major fashion capitals, largely due to the efforts of the Dallas-based department store Neiman Marcus and its prestigious award. Colloquially called the “Oscars of Fashion,” the Neiman Marcus Award brought international fashion figures like Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Emilio Pucci, and Hanae Mori to town, exposing Dallasites to the hottest and boldest designs. This, in turn, brought the international press to Dallas, showcasing our city as a cultural hotspot wrapped in Southern hospitality.  Join UNT Texas Fashion Collection director Annette Becker for a romp through history and learn more about our city’s connections with the biggest names in fashion!

Presenter: Annette Becker is the director of the Texas Fashion Collection, an archive of nearly 20,000 historical and designer garments and accessories spanning 250 years of fashion history.  Housed within the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, the TFC preserves and presents innovative designs, making them publicly accessible through educational programming and off-site exhibitions.

Gallery with three cases featuring a western-style suit and two evening dresses

Fashion Forward: Through April 12, 2020

Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701  |   Map it

The innovative designs and designers featured in Fashion Forward found their way from international fashion houses to closets in Texas. From fashion-forward trends to classic wardrobe staples the exhibition draws primarily from the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design's Texas Fashion Collection, one of the most significant fashion archives in the U.S.

The Austinot: Watch Fashion Change as You Walk Through History at Bullock Museum’s Newest Exhibit
Tribeza: Fashion Forward
Apple Podcast: Success with Style: Annette Becker

Exhibition plinth with text next to planter and platforms with men's garments

Bloom Men: Through May 17, 2020

Exhibition: March 2 – May 17, 2020

"Bloom Men," Texas Fashion Collection Exhibition of menswear at NorthPark Center, Dallas

Featuring floral fashions from the past 250 years and celebrating a long history of menswear designers and enthusiasts embracing botanical motifs.

UNT Press Release, Feb. 25, 2020
NorthPark Center Press Release

Exhibition plinth with text and platforms with highly patterned women's garments

Faux Real: Fashions Inspired by Nature

On view at NorthPark Center, Dallas

March 4 - May 5, 2019

Though nature and art are often seen as opposing forces, fashion designers have significantly contributed to the ongoing and often controversial conversations about our relationship with the natural world. While featured ensembles are made exclusively of vegetarian materials, many incorporate synthetic surrogates that look and feel like their natural counterparts. Others push beyond realism, with entirely fictional or exaggerated fantastical textures and patterns offering a supernatural look at the familiar. Together, these designers recreate, interrogate and subvert natural materials and patterns so that we might have a better understanding of and appreciation for the world around us.

Dark gallery with three brightly lit couture ensembles on mannequins, photographs

Age of the Supermodel

On view at Galleria Dallas

Sept. 15 - Oct. 28, 2018

Presented in partnership with 1814 Magazine and Maison Christian Lacroix, this exhibition features the world of haute couture in the early 1990s. Shown alongside Donna DeMari's behind-the-scenes photographs of supermodels preparing for Paris Fashion Week and runway footage from the Paris catwalk, the TFC offers ten haute couture and high fashion ensembles by Balmain, Oscar de la Renta, Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, and Valentino.  Together these illustrate a highly charged moment in fashion history when haute couture faced the challenge of defining itself and fashion was defined by superstar models. Photo courtesy of Sheryl Lanzel.

Galleria Dallas, "Age of the Supermodel"
Daniel Kusner, Dallas Morning News, "Travel to the glamazon '90s with 'Age of the Supermodel'"

Cooridor with three platforms holdings western-inspired garments on mannequins

West Dressed: Fashions Inspired by the American Frontier

On view at NorthPark Center, Dallas

April 13 - June 17, 2018 

The American West looms large in our imaginations, with tall tales, spaghetti westerns, and other forms of visual culture creating a fantastical and idealized view of the past.  Fashion designers often explore these tropes, shaping, reinforcing, and challenging contemporary ideas through their own interpretations of popular history.  Drawn from the holdings of the TFC's permanent collection, this exhibition presents American, Native American, and international fashion designers whose work encourages us to think more deeply about our own ideas of this larger-than-life past.

Holly Haber,  Women's Wear Daily, "'West Dressed' Exhibition Opens in Dallas"
NorthPark Center, "West Dressed"
Aashni Pabley, DFW Style Daily, "West Dressed: The Wild Old West Meets High Fashion"
UNT News, "Texas Fashion Collection Takes 'West Dressed' to Dallas' NorthPark Center"
Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How Six Indigenous Designers are Using Fashion to Reclaim Their Culture"

Three high fashion ensembles on mannequins next to framed Tracy Emin artwork

On Bodies: Highlights from The Goss-Michael Foundation and the UNT Texas Fashion Collection

On view at The Goss-Michael Foundation

Nov. 3, 2017 - March 1, 2018  |  Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

"On Bodies" features works from the permanent collection of the TFC and The Goss-Michael Foundation, one of the premier collections of contemporary British fine art in the United States.  High fashion ensembles by John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Todd Oldham, Zac Posen, and other illustrate the ways that fashion designers literally and figuratively shape our bodies, while artworks by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, James Gilbert, and others offer more abstracted ways of considered our complex embodied experiences.  Photo credit: Abigail Firth.

UNT News, "UNT's Texas Fashion Collection features ensembles along British art in new exhibition"

Nike floral patterned athleisure ensemble on mannequin with outstreched arms

Sportswear to Athleisure: The Creation of Comfortable Clothing

On view at UNT Fashion on Main

Sept. 8 - Dec. 8, 2017  |  Gallery Hours: Wed & Thurs 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

“Sportswear to Athleisure” draws from the holdings of the Texas Fashion Collection, part of the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design. This exhibition features historical ensembles from iconic sportswear designers Claire McCardell, Vera Maxwell, and Calvin Klein. It includes recent acquisitions by Riccardo Tisci, Yohji Yamamoto, Charles Smith II, and Mary Katrantzou. Together, these ensembles demonstrate the chronology of comfortable clothing, from early outdoor leisure fashions to stylish gym-to-street athleisure of today. Photo credit: Brandon Nichols.

UNT News, "Texas Fashion Collection explores the history of comfortable clothing in a new exhibition"

Coridor with platforms showcasing kimono-style garments on mannequins

Reimagining the Kimono 

On view at NorthPark Center, Dallas

May 1 - June 26, 2017

Reimagining the Kimono, organized by the Texas Fashion Collection, explores how the kimono has inspired designers through its form, fabric, and floral motifs. Late 20th-century Japanese wedding kimonos, known as uchikake, represent the traditional garment with bold use of color and pattern. Selections of silk chiffon haute couture gowns by Hanae Mori offer modern interpretations of Japanese iconography and the iconic form of the kimono. Historical designs by Oscar de la Renta, Pauline Trigere, and Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe, among others, offer high-fashion examples of the multiplicity of ways in which the kimono has inspired American and European designers.

WFAA Good Morning Texas, "Reimagining the Kimono at NorthPark Center"
Deborah Fleck, Dallas Morning News, "University of North Texas presents kimono display at NorthPark Center"
UNT News, "UNT's Texas Fashion Collection presents an exhibition of kimonos at NorthPark Center"
NorthPark Center, "Spring at the Park: Reimagining the Kimono

Designs on mannequins

An Artistic Alliance: Art and Couture by Amy Zerner from the collection of Torie Gibralter

On view at UNT ArtSpace, Dallas

Nov. 2015 - Jan. 2016

This exhibition represents the bond that was formed between the artist Amy Zerner, and her friend, patron, and client, Torie Gibralter of Dallas. The designs include an array of jackets, robes, kimonos and tapestries created by Amy for Torie to enjoy over the past decade. Fashion designers are often inspired by their clients in compelling ways, forming a unique kind of exchange that goes on between the customer who comes to a specific designer seeking a custom-made garment.

Exhibition plinth with text and mannequins on platforms in open cooridor

Art Meets Fashion: 1965-2015

On view at NorthPark Center, Dallas

August 2015 - January 2016

This celebratory exhibition features specific examples of dress chosen to reflect the synergy between art and fashion during the past fifty years, from 1965 to the present. The works included illustrating the highly creative ways that art and fashion have intersected and continue to break new ground. Fashion revivals champion design elements of the recent past and continue to be reinterpreted as visible, vibrant markers of culture today.

Five historic cream white wedding dresses on mannequins in white gallery

American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity

On view at Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts, Denton, Texas.

June - October 2014

For a complete tour of the gallery installation please view the American Brides gallery.

Gallery with filled with mannequins dressed in traditional cultural clothing

The Joy Losee Collection: Art and Dress Along the Silk Road

On view at UNT Art Gallery, Denton, TX

January - February 2013

Celebrating selected international dress from recent donations to the TFC by Joy Losee, this exhibition draws together garments from across the Eastern Hemisphere and encourages the contemplation of traditional dress as a vital part of material culture.  It provides an opportunity to examine costumes that incorporate designs and motifs derived from the artistic traditions of peoples from a six-thousand-mile area of overlapping trade routes. 

Carpeted gallery with 1940s women's clothing on mannequins on low platforms

Adrian: Glamour in the Age of Austerity

On view at UNT Fashion on Main, Dallas, TX

Sept. 15 - Nov. 11, 2011

Gilbert Adrian, best known as Adrian, was born in Connecticut in 1903. He quickly made his mark as a costume designer, designing for all the great stars of the time, such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford. He encountered substantial obstacles resulting from WWII, such as rationing restrictions on fabrics and dyes, but he realized that the war brought a special opportunity for American designers to gain recognition. With great versatility and a wide range of inspirations, Adrian became a leader to other American designers and helped establish the American high-fashion industry. Whether it was a sparkling gown or a tailored suit, Adrian dared to design American.

Fashions of the 1950s, five dresses

American by Design: The 1950s

On view at UNT Fashion on Main, Dallas, TX

Jan. 28 - March 25, 2011

The fashion of the 1950s is synonymous with the full-skirted, tiny waist silhouettes prompted by Christian Dior’s New Look. People were optimistic as the economy boomed. Women were ready to look feminine and pretty, which began with the `right’ dress. Impeccably groomed and accessorized, American women gained a reputation around the world for their beauty. New York became a style center in the world market. American fashion designers became household names. Each of the designers featured in this exhibition found creative ways to deliver the perfect dress for every occasion. They promoted comfort, versatility, and functionality while embracing fine tailoring and innovative design. Synthetic fabrics were introduced which opened new possibilities for the designer, and the ease of care for the consumer. American design made its mark during the 1950s and continues to impact the world of high fashion.

12 small mannequins showcasing children's fashions in gallery with floral backdrops

Child's Play: A Children's Fashion Story

On view at UNT Fashion on Main, Dallas, TX

Feb. 19 - May 7, 2010

This exhibition allows us to peek through the social, historical lens of childhood through time beginning with the post Civil War through The Great Depression. Girls’ party dresses, several boys’ outfits, and many other children’s wear treasures from the Texas Fashion Collection and the private collection of Steven Porterfield, owner of the Cat’s Meow in Midland, Texas are featured. We see children’s influence shaping and shifting fabrics and palettes, and casting off corsets and crinolines in the name of Child’s Play.

Dark gallery with four mannequins featuring Egyptian-inspired evening dresses

Egyptian Elegance

On view at UNT Fashion on Main, Dallas, TX

Feb. 5 - May 15, 2009

Explore evening gowns inspired by the garments of ancient Egypt in a new exhibition from the Texas Fashion Collection, part of the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design. Egyptian Elegance coincides with the Dallas Museum of Art’s ongoing Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition. The exhibition draws from the 20th-century holdings of the Texas Fashion Collection and features twenty dramatic evening gowns inspired by such ancient Egyptian garments as the kalasiris, tunic or caftan and neo-classical draping by designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio di ‘Sant Angelo, Ralph Rucci, and Germain Monteil.