Folk Couture: Fashion and Art Exhibit at the Huntsville Museum of Art

Only a bit before it closed this summer, I got to see at the Huntsville Museum of Art the Folk Couture: Fashion and Art Exhibit, which was organized by the American Folk Art Museum in New York. They had it on exhibit in NY during the early part of 2014, and since it left Huntsville, I have been unable to locate if the exhibit has been returned for some period, or will be on loan to another museum in the near future.

Folk Couture Exhibit at Huntsville Museum of Art//

From the exhibit’s site:
Fashion has always found inspiration in unpredictable sources: art, life, history—there are no boundaries. In this spirit, the American Folk Art Museum explores the relationship between inspiration and creation. Thirteen established and emerging designers have created original ensembles inspired by artwork in the museum’s collection.

Here, a Bibhu Mohapatra dress, inspired by the rare Tattoo Pattern Book.

Creatures of the Wind dress by Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters — Vogue has their Fall ’16 RTW show here.

Just One Eye and Creatures of the Wind from Shannon Bellanca on Vimeo.

Fall 2016 show:
Creatures of the Wind Fall 2016 from Creatures of the Wind on Vimeo.
The outfit at 2:12 is just delicious in such a weird way. And 2:21, yesss.

John Bartlett wallhanding inspired by unidentified artist’s ‘man with green shirt and white suspenders’ that’s believed to be either Canadian or US.

Anniversary Tin: Man’s Top Hat and Eyeglasses, made sometime between 1880-1900 in Gobles, Michigan

Michael Bastian ensemble with Angel Gabriel weathervane circa 1840

Jean Yu dress with David Alvarez porcupine

Seated Jackalope by Alonzo Jiminez

Sam Doyle seated dog

Yeohlee Teng dress — she took snapshots of carved animals (the Sam Doyle dog, Jiminez jackalope) in the museum’s storage area and used these as print tiles on kraft paper

This is a Quaker friendship quilt by Elizabeth Hooten (Cresson) Savery and others made in 1844 Philadelphia

the quilt inspired this threeASFOUR laser-cut flower-print patent leather over Spandex power mesh dress

Spring-Summer ’16:
INTERDIMENSIONAL Spring Summer 2016 from threeASFOUR on Vimeo.

left to rigth: Chadwick Bell, Fabio Costa, Catherine Malandrino dresses
Chadwick Bell, Fabio Costa, Catherine Malandrino dresses//

Gary Graham ensemble, with fabric woven from a loom at RISD
Weaving the Jacquard Coat, 2013, Courtesy Gary Graham, New York from American Folk Art Museum on Vimeo.

From the NYT review:
“Though fashion may be the lure, the art shines. Even at their most outré, the outfits complement rather than distract from the many gems of the American Folk Art Museum’s collection.”


“Folk Couture” also proves that museums can explore fashion on a budget, without the need for celebrity designers, brand sponsorships and elaborate set pieces. Not every show has to be McQueen at the Met or Gaultier at the Brooklyn Museum.

Leave a Reply