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Wisconsin Fashion Beyond Green and Gold Jerseys

Jun. 6, 2017
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“Most people think of Wisconsin fashion as green and gold jerseys,” says Laurie Winters, executive director of the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA). “They don’t realize that there is a hotbed of interesting things going on.” “A State of Fashion,” comprised of four exhibitions opening June 11 at MOWA, presents a more revealing picture of the history and state of the art of fashion in Wisconsin.

In 1972, a cache of historic clothing was discovered in an attic in Marshfield, Wisc., containing everything from haute couture dresses to mourning veils. The exquisite garments once worn by six generations of the Roddis family, some of which predate the Civil War, are presented in “The Roddis Collection: American Style and Spirit.”

“Florence Eiseman: Designing Childhood for the American Century” is a complete retrospective of the children’s clothing line favored by fashion luminaries such as the Kennedys and Princess Grace of Monaco through contemporary taste makers like Beyoncé and the Obamas. “The exhibition ties in with changing views of children in the late-20th century,” says Winters. “Eiseman was the first to create clothing designed specifically for the child’s body. Up until that point, the end of World War II, kids clothes had just been miniature adult clothes.”

Two more exhibitions round out “A State of Fashion.” “Contemporary Threads: Wisconsin Fashion” shows selections from 10 present-day Wisconsin designers, including four alumnae of “Project Runway” and one of Lady Gaga’s designers. “Daniel Arnold: A Paparazzo for Strangers” is the first solo show for the Milwaukee native and Instagram phenom who has garnered critical praise for his New York street photography.

Monument Square Art Festival

Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, Downtown Racine

The Monument Square Art Festival overtakes Downtown Racine once again on Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11. The annual festival features all the trappings of a community-minded, family friendly arts event. Dozens of artists from far and wide will be showing and selling their wares. Live music will fill the air along with the smells of various food vendors. Artists will compete for $1,000 in the Great Lakes Chalk Art Competition.

Milwaukee Blacksmith at the U.S. Open

7169 County Road O, Hartford 

“Milwaukee Blacksmith” premiered on the History Channel in August 2016. The series follows the Knapps, whose family owned and operated business, Milwaukee Blacksmith, is dedicated to the ancient art of manipulating hot metal. In celebration of the U.S. Open—taking place at the Erin Hills golf course—the Knapps have wrought a 10-foot replica of the course’s clover logo. The sculpture will be installed in the U.S. Open’s welcome area: a perfect photo-op and representation of contemporary Milwaukee craftsmanship.


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