Crimes and Fashion: Clothing to Die For

"Crimes and Fashion" poster

Join the Center for the Arts & Design as they answer two questions: Who did it, and, more importantly, what were they wearing? 

From Oct. 3 through Nov. 21, Presidents Gallery will feature “Crimes and Fashion: Clothing to Die For,” exhibiting fashion from Brenau’s Historic Clothing Collection inspired by classic fictional detectives and criminals. 

Clothing is selected to represent a variety of individuals, from popular characters including Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew and Phyrne Fisher to lesser-known works like The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, which is widely considered to be the first detective novel in history.

The idea for the collection came from Polly Evans-Thomas, office and lab manager for the Center for the Arts & Design.

“We try to do an exhibit from the Historic Clothing Collection every year,” Evans-Thomas said.  “We have a piece from the 1840s, which is very rare and a perfect nod to Wilkie Collins, so of course we had to do it.”

The show is an interdisciplinary effort, with help from other departments in the College of Fine Arts & Humanities, as well as the Brenau Trustee Library and the Office of Marketing & Communications.

The Historic Clothing Collection is a curated amalgamation of clothing and accessories from the last two centuries donated to the university by alumnae, trustees and friends of the institution. Fashion merchandising students interested in fashion history are given the opportunity to work with the collection to gain experience managing collections and working with historic garments.