He seemed to be the consummate New Yorker, who designed clothes for the consummate New York woman. But Bill Blass hailed from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and that’s why Indiana University-Bloomington is now presenting a retrospective called "Bill Blass: An American Designer."

The exhibit, which opened Oct. 5 at the university’s I.M. Pei-designed art museum, features about 100 Blass ensembles, plus sketches and drawings. A red-satin ball skirt with a matching cashmere cardigan (buttoned backward) worn by Nancy Reagan in 1984; beaded Klimt- and Matisse-inspired jackets from the Eighties and Nineties, and a watermelon jacket socialite Lynn Wyatt wore in 1983 are among the iconic pieces in the show, said Kathleen Rowold, the curator of the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection at Indiana University.

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