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   from the issue of March 22, 2007

Hillestad Gallery hosts 'Cashin Plus Six' exhibit

The Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery presents the exhibit "Bonnie Cashin Plus Six" through April 13. The exhibition includes 33 garments by American designers who developed a reputation for their independence and vision in the post-World War II era.

ON DISPLAY - The garment
ON DISPLAY - The garment "Big Flamenco Cape," made by Bonnie Cashin in 1974, is included in the Hillestad Gallery exhibition. Courtesy image.

In addition to Cashin, the show features work by Hattie Carnegie, Pauline Trigere, Claire McCardell, Ceil Chapman, Norman Norell and James Galanos. Among the garments featured are a "tin Lizzie coat," ponchos, capes, a sculpted 1950s suit featuring the New Look, a choir boy jacket, and luxurious chiffon cocktail dresses.

The American designers were known for breaking away from the fashion dictates and traditions of Paris after the war and addressing the needs and lifestyles of the modern American woman. Adapting the pea coat for women's suits, designing with wool for evening wear and incorporating hand bags into coats are just some the fashion forward ideas these women and men explored. Many other ideas continue to inspire today's designers, demonstrating the importance of this period in American fashion.

The exhibition is the first of its kind for the Hillestad Gallery and features garments from the historic collections of two Midwestern universities, the University of Nebraska and Iowa State University in a joint exhibition. The garments range in date from 1945 to 1975 and each has been described in detail on the exhibition labels.

Project director Barbara Trout and co-curators Jean Parsons and Susan Torntore received funding from the Big 12 Faculty Development Program and from the Friends of the Hillestad Gallery to develop the exhibition. A draping workshop will be offered April 13 and 14 in conjunction with the exhibit. The focus of this hands-on experience will be to explore the basic geometric draping techniques of Cashin and Trigere, and to create a prototype for a one-of-a-kind garment.

The Hillestad Gallery is part of the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design at UNL and is located on the second floor of the Home Economics Building. For more information go online to or call 472-2911.



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