A sweeping retrospective exhibition of more than 80 garments, numerous accessories, videos and memorabilia, the display catalogs the successful career of the late Patrick Kelly, a dynamic 1980s design icon who outfitted women of every age and race — including an aging Bette Davis and a youthful Vanessa Williams.
As the first American and the first black designer to be elected into the elite Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode, Kelly inspired generations of fashion talent.
Thanks to a generous promised gift by Kelly’s business and life partner, Bjorn Guil Amelan, and Bill T. Jones, this exhibit provides a showcase for this important designer’s work in a first-of-its-kind comprehensive retrospective.
In addition to a rare complete view of Kelly’s head-to-toe runway looks, the show also delves into the artist’s personal collections of black memorabilia, fashion videos and photographs by Horst P. Horst, Pierre et Gilles and Oliviero Toscani.
Accompanying the retrospective, Gerlan Jeans ♥ Patrick Kelly offers a whimsical complementary exhibition of streetwear inspired by Kelly and designed by artist and designer Gerlan Marcel of Gerlan Jeans, a contemporary brand launched in 2009.
The exhibitions will also include a range of public programs this fall, including a fashion film series and a conversation about Patrick Kelly and his fashion designs and career with supermodel Pat Cleveland, writer Michael Gross and fashion journalist Carol Mongo.
For a sneak peek of the curation and preparation process at the museum, see below.
And stay tuned for more on this bold display of gorgeous garments.
Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love and Gerlan Jeans ♥ Patrick Kelly
When: April 27-November 30
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Included in general admission
More info: www.philamuseum.org