Press Release  January 31, 2020

Fashion Nirvana: the 1990s from Runway to Everyday

Courtesy mcnay art museum

Gianni Versace, Day ensemble, ca. 1990s.Cotton twill, corduroy. Texas Fashion Collection,University of North Texas, Gift of Gigi Gartner in honor of her mother, Louise Gartner, 2018.026.005

San Antonio, TX – From gowns to grunge, Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday marks the first fashion and video art exhibition in McNay history. Set in the wake of the Cold War, in a decade of great hope and freedom ushered in by the fall of the Berlin Wall, the innovative installation celebrates the fearless designers, photographers, and video artists who made the 1990s iconic and worthy of its current revival.

Courtesy mcnay art museum

Todd Oldham, T-shirt dress, 1996. Polyester knit. Texas Fashion Collection, University of North Texas, Gift of Todd Oldham Studios, 1999.003.110

“As a museum dedicated to innovation in the art of our times, the McNay proudly honors the bold artistic achievements of a decade that did more to pave the way for change than any other since the 1960s,” said Richard Aste, McNay Director and CEO. “Through their authentic, experimental creations, the era’s emerging artists captured the optimism, anxiety, and diversity of a generation poised to reinvent itself.”

Fashion Nirvana features over 60 garments by famous designers Dior, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Carolina Herrera, Patrick Kelly, Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham, Oscar de la Renta, Vivienne Tam, Gianni Versace, Vera Wang, and more.

Advances in technology made video art increasingly accessible during the 1990s, and video artists responded to music, pop culture, advertising, and fashion of the time. Paired alongside fashion ensembles, projections by video artists Seoungho Cho, Rineke Dijkstra, Anthony Discenza, Kristin Lucas, Tony Oursler (in collaboration with 90s band Sonic Youth), Mary Perillo, Pipilotti Rist, and San Antonio-native John Sanborn, create a multi-sensory experience. Paintings and sculptures from the McNay’s collection are also in conversation with the garments on view.

Courtesy mcnay art museum, Jason Frank Rothenberg

Isaac Mizrahi, Desert Storm, 1991. Silk georgette. Collection of Isaac Mizrahi.

“I started 6th grade in 1989 and graduated from college in 2000, so my formative years were defined by the music, fashion, and pop-culture of the 1990s decade,” said Kate Carey, Head of Education and Co-Curator of Fashion Nirvana. “From television reboots to combat boots, the nineties are having a comeback. I hope the exhibition sparks connection with visitors of all ages to the cultural touchstones that made the decade so iconic.”

Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday is co-organized by the McNay Art Museum and Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas, curated by Kate Carey, Head of Education; Jackie Edwards, former Assistant Curator; and Lauren Thompson, Assistant Curator; and assisted by Alexis T. Meldrum, 2019-2020 Semmes Foundation Intern in Museum Studies.

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