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Photo Courtesy Galleria Dallas

If the popular television series “Downton Abbey’s” last season is any indication of the renaissance of all things “roaring twenties” then the folks at the Galleria Dallas can expect their upcoming exhibit called “Decadence: Fashions from the 1920s” to be a hit.

Celebrating the glory of the Jazz Age, Martha Hinojosa, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Galleria Dallas said “Galleria Dallas is a perfect place to hold an exhibition like Decadence. The center was inspired by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, and has a very museum feel in its internal architecture and décor.  These pieces are of the quality one might find featured in the Met in New York, the Louvre, or the Victoria & Albert museum in London, and they’ll show just as beautifully at Galleria Dallas.”

The pieces being referred to are items that are on loan from the Susan Denn and Robert Schmidt Collection and The Texas Fashion Collection of UNT College of Visual Arts & Design.  The exhibit will feature rare pieces from French, Spanish and Italian couturiers including Madeleine Vionnet, Mariano Fortuny, Maria Monaco Gallenga and Lucien Lelong.

“The inspiration was to coincide with the last season of “Downton Abbey” and the popularity that show has garnered through the years,” explained Hinojosa. “It's an era of such exquisite beauty in fashion. Being a destination for fashion I found it very apropos to put on this exhibition.”

Ken Weber, curator of the exhibit and owner of Vintage Martini in Dallas explains, “There are several show stoppers in the collection and most people will automatically expect them to be the designer pieces. I think everyone will be shocked at some of the non-designer gowns and coats, they are just as fantastic.  My personal favorite is the 1925 Vionnet gown, which is shown in an original illustration from the Gazette du Bon Ton, of the Vionnet salon.”

Weber said he believes that 20th century designers have always looked to the past for inspiration and in the last six years the 1920s have been a major influence in fashion.

“The remake of the “Great Gatsby” and the costumes by Prada, really pushed the 1920s in the public eye again,” he remarked. “This particular season the usage of fringe is very prevalent and also the simplicity and elegance of 1920s lingerie has been remade into dresses and outerwear for the spring.”

With hundreds of items to choose from for the exhibit, Weber said it came down to choosing items that the general public would see as not being old clothing, but rather as being relevant in today’s world of fashion.

The exhibit will be on display from January 22 to February 28 on Level 1 near Banana Republic and it’s free.  The anticipation is that several thousand visitors will pass through the doors at Decadence during its one month run.

“It's such a romantic and decadent time period in history with fabrics so intricately made, so feminine, Hinojosa concluded. “We are thrilled to have several couture and haute couture garments, as well.”

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