Byline: Holly Haber

Texas fashion talent gets the full gallery treatment at “cutting pattern/cutting edge,” a new exhibit at the Arlington Museum of Art.
Works by 21 designers, photographers and sculptors make up the show, which marks the last curatorial effort by the museum’s founding director, Joan Davidow, who is resigning to pursue other interests after devoting 10 years to building, funding and curating the institution.
“This exhibit all started with thinking about the millennium and how our lives might be different and what we haven’t looked at,” explained Davidow, who began work on it four years ago. “Fashion as art was a way to address the millennial change. How is fashion going to change? What’s being done that makes us see fashion in a new way?”
In creating the first exhibit to focus on contemporary Texas fashion designers, Davidow pulled together artistic designs by a diverse group of stylists ranging from recent graduates to successful entrepreneurs such as Lela Rose.
“The mission of the museum has been to fill the niche that isn’t being filled by other institutions around us: to show emerging and midcareer artists,” Davidow noted.
Artsy fashionistas, with cameras in hand, flocked to the gala opening of the exhibit, held one evening last month. The exhibit runs through Dec. 30.
Some of the unusual works featured are Mary Lou Couch’s dresses trimmed with human hair, Annie Murdock’s colorful plastic collage pouf dress and Frances Bagley’s loosely woven sculptural forms in bronze or human hair that echo the feminine physique. One of the few featured designers who is selling to stores is Jeffrey Lee, whose wares are at Forty-Five Ten in Dallas. He sometimes scorches fabric before he sews it into wearable art.
The museum is free and open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As for Davidow, she said she’s not sure what her next career move with be.
“The sky’s the limit,” she said.

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