Kevin L. Jones, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum
Motorcycling Ensemble, 1930s. FIDM Museum Collection
Bicycling Ensemble, 1890s. FIDM Museum Collection.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, women began to venture outside of the domestic sphere and participate in public life in dramatically greater numbers, spurred on by the burgeoning women’s suffrage movement. Not only did women become active in politics, but they also began to partake in emerging outdoor activities: manufacturing and design rapidly adapted to meet the needs of these new consumers. Drawn from the exceptional collections of the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 is the first exhibition to explore the evolution of women’s sporting attire in Western fashion.
Standing at the intersection of the history of fashion and of feminism, Sporting Fashion brings attention to the extraordinary impact of new technologies and evolving social mores on women’s clothing for sport. Indeed, the basic forms of women’s sportswear we know today—from swimsuits to sneakers—were developed and codified during the period from 1800 to 1960. Many of the garments on view in this presentation are of extraordinary rarity, as they were intended for functional application rather than preservation as records of dramatic cultural and historical trends. Breaking down barriers of representation and visibility in much the same way sportswomen have fought for recognition themselves, Sporting Fashion reconstructs a material history of women in sport through the garments and accessories that enabled them to participate, compete, and excel—and that continue to do so to this day.
Kevin Jones is curator of the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles. He studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kevin joined the FIDM Museum as collections manager in 1999, and was appointed curator in 2002. Kevin’s diverse exhibitions cover Hollywood to high fashion. In 2009, he co-curated the Richard Martin Award-winning exhibition, catalogue, and documentary High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture. *Additionally, Kevin co-curated *FABULOUS! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000–2010, and co-authored the accompanying 380-page catalogue, which covers fashion history from 1800 to 2010. Kevin often presents papers at academic symposia and is sought after for interviews in newspapers and magazines, and on radio and television. His exhibition and catalogue Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 was to open at the FIDM Museum in May 2020. It will tour the United States through 2023. Currently, he is developing a long-term project titled Gilding the Lily: American Women and Paris Fashion, 1860s to 1910s. Also, Kevin is in continual research for his “retirement” book First Class: Titanic’s Women of Fashion. Among his professional associations, Kevin is a member of the Costume Society of America, the Titanic Historical Society, and the Preservation Society of Newport, Rhode Island.
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