Figge Features Evolution of Women's Fashion for Sports
The evolution of women's clothing for sports and other outdoor activities is the focus of a new exhibit at the Figge Art Museum.
"Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960" opens Tuesday and continues through early May.
Kevin Jones, museum curator for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, says at first if women wanted to swim or play baseball they had to invent clothing for it.
"Sometimes that was actually wearing men's clothing because women were not a target audience for retailers and for manufacturers. Or they invented it themselves and made it themselves."
He says every woman, whether she was ice skating or bowling, was what he calls the "modern woman of her day."
"One of things we never wanted to do while working on this project was to compare one of the women to a future woman, as if the future women had it better. Every woman was really modern in her time, not something that necessarily we would want to wear today. What we would consider an enveloping, itchy wool bathing suit at the time that was very fashion forward."
The new exhibit, on two floors of the Figge, features 64 life size mannequins and nearly 500 historic objects from the Fashion Institute museum.
The Quad Cities is one of six stops during a three-year national tour that will end in the summer of next year, just in time for the Paris Olympics.