“Fashioned in America” at Phoenix Art Museum

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 Wes Gordon


In the 1920’s, 78 percent of clothing was made in the New York Garment District. Today, that number has dropped to just three percent.  To showcase a revival in United States manufacturing, the Phoenix Art Museum is featuring about 30 ensembles from established and up-and-coming designers in its newest exhibit.

During World War II, the Nazis closed off Paris manufacturing districts to the rest of the world. New York took the initiative to become a hub for American-made garments with the formation of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. International garment workers flocked to this new location, and thus, the New York Garment District was born.

The exhibit opens with three looks from the 1940’s that include a vintage wedding dress, an emerald green peplum top and a black and gold dress. Other pieces dated from 2008 to pieces straight from the 2014 runway. These contemporary looks included a red-carpet-ready gown by Rosie Assoulin, an off-white J. Mendel floor length gown, and one menswear look from The Elder Statesman.


The Elder Statesman

Starting with simple items like undergarments and socks, manufacturing slowly moved overseas for cheaper production costs. Dennita Sewell, the fashion curator at the museum, says that if we are going to salvage American made fashion, it’s going to be in the luxury industry.

More and more high-end designers in America want to have a personalized thumbprint on their designs and have control over the final production of the look. Even though these designers are considered American, they are not necessarily American-born. The exhibit features the viewpoints from Wes Gordon, Kaufman Franco and a classic like Oscar de la Renta on the importance of local manufacturing. Some of the benefits of local manufacturing include more control over design, better fit and more profitability.

While local manufacturing is considered a benefit to designers, our society has become global. This means that one collection can be made up of garments made in multiple countries. And that is the beauty of fashion inspiration. “We’re not saying it’s bad to manufacture overseas,” Sewell says. “We’re just saying here are all the considerations.”

The exhibit is open until March 15, 2015 in the Ellman Fashion Design Gallery. Visit for more information.


Fall Phoenix Arts Roundup

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While fall is usually a time for changing colors and beautiful scenery outdoors, there is some beauty happening indoors too. Museums and venues around the Valley have prepped for fall by bringing you everything from arts festivals to fashion exhibits to Spanish markets and much more. Come see for yourself what arts events are going on each month until the end of the year.



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“National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers”

Arizona Science Center

Sept. 21 - Jan. 4

Take a trip with modern-day explorers, scientists and adventurers to learn about the world’s most remote places and unique technologies. This interactive and educational exhibit will leave guests feeling like an explorer ready to take on the world. For more information, go to




“Jimmy Choo with Asian Arts Council”

Phoenix Art Museum

Oct. 1; 5 p.m.

Calling all shoe lovers! Take this special opportunity to discover the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection by Jimmy Choo. Go here for more info.

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Mesa Arts Center

Oct. 10; 6 p.m.

October is a time for enjoying beer AND the arts. Mesa Arts Center is hosting a fundraiser to benefit arts education programs and encourages guests to dress up in their best Oktoberfest attire. Check for more info.


“Fashioned in America”

Phoenix Art Museum

Oct. 11 - Mar. 15

Ever wondered how economics and ethics drive fashion in America? Now is your chance to find out at this exhibit featuring more than 40 contemporary designs and exclusive interviews with the fashion designers responsible for them. Check for more information.


“PhotoBid 2014 Gala and Silent Auction”

Phoenix Art Museum

Oct. 17; 6 p.m.

For those photography and art collectors out there, the museum has pulled together more than 50 signed limited-edition prints and books available for bid. Share your passion for photography with other guests and enjoy a night of pure art appreciation. For more information, go here


“MIMFest: Global Music Festival”

Musical Instrument Museum

Oct. 18 - Oct. 19

Celebrate all things musical with a two-day outdoor festival inspired by the cultures and traditions from around the world. This is your chance to see performers and dancers from around the world on one stage. Go to for more info.




“Spanish Market: Mercado de las Artes”

Heard Museum

Nov. 8 - Nov. 9 

Stroll through the largest Spanish Market in Arizona and find rare artwork from more than 65 different artists. You can find everything from pottery, painting, tinwork and more here only. Check for more info.


“Ornament Marketplace”

Heard Museum

Nov. 28 - Nov. 30

Stop by the Heard Museum Shops to pick up beautiful hand-made ornaments from local American Indian artists. There will be hundreds of pieces to choose from, so bring your family along. For more info, go to


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“Mesa Arts Festival”

Mesa Arts Center

Dec. 13 - Dec. 14

Featuring original artwork from artists around the world, the festival is a great place to find special holiday gifts for your loved ones. The event will also include live performances and delicious treats. For more information, go to


Springtime Museum Exhibits in Phoenix

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As spring brings new life to the Valley, museums are also opening new exhibits for everyone to enjoy. Discover rock ‘n’ roll, intricate jewelry and extreme science, just to name a few. Here is a roundup of nine amazing museum exhibits that you don’t want to miss.


The SHOPS at Gainey Village Present 'Sips and Sounds' Annual Concert Series

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The SHOPS at Gainey Village continues its new, annual concert series called Sips and Sounds featuring live music, drinks and food every first Thursday of the month through March.  Guests are invited to relax under the stars and listen to live music while feasting on food from many of the shopping center’s famed restaurants including Village Tavern, Paradise Bakery, Downside Risk, and Soi 4 Bangkok Eatery, among others. 



SVS Sport Horse Expo and Auction Returns

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svs six

Raise your bidder’s paddle! The equestrian industry’s premiere event, the SVS Sport Horse Expo & Auction, returns this year, November 20 through the 23 at West World in Scottsdale.

SVS Sport Horse Expo is sponsored by GMC. GMC-We-Are-Professional-Grade-Red-Box.jpg

Families, friends and business associates will be amazed  and entertained at this first-class experience. The most talented riders, breeders and industry experts join forces — providing a rare opportunity for attendees to watch and learn from the best in the busines.

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