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UNT Insider | September 2007 Issue | Michael Faircloth exhibition

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Michael Faircloth exhibition opens Sept. 21 at UNT's Fashion on Main in Dallas

From a UNT News Service press release

At a Glance

What: "Reflections: Work by Michael Faircloth" - The Texas Fashion Collection, which is part of the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design, presents an exhibition of couture creations from renowned UNT alumnus Michael Faircloth, whose clients include First Lady Laura Bush and other dignitaries.

When: Sept. 21 through Dec. 21.

Where: Fashion on Main, located at the Universities Center at Dallas, 1901 Main St.

Cost: Admission is free; pay parking at Elm Street garage.

Contact: (214) 752-8151

Fashion designs of Michael Faircloth, a renowned UNT alumnus whose clients include such luminaries as First Lady Laura Bush, will be presented by the Texas Fashion Collection, which is part of the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design (formerly the School of Visual Arts).

"Reflections: Work by Michael Faircloth" will be on display from Sept. 21 through Dec. 21 at Fashion on Main at Universities Center, 1901 Main St. in downtown Dallas. The exhibition will feature highlights from his career, including more than 20 evening gowns, dresses, suits and wedding and debutante gowns designed by Faircloth for a largely Texan clientele.

"His business operates from a more discreet, private point of view for his clientele," says Myra Walker, director and curator of the Texas Fashion Collection. "He does not design and deliver in the typical industry-based model - filling orders from buyers at stores. That is why this show is special, as it's a look at this very private realm of the custom designer business."

Faircloth has worked in the fashion industry for more than 20 years. He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in fashion design from UNT in 1983 and has built a distinguished career designing fashions worn internationally. In 2003, UNT honored Faircloth with the Distinguished Alumnus Award for achieving distinction in his profession and making significant contributions to society.

"My intention is to enhance a woman's own style and attitude," Faircloth says.

The exhibition will include examples from some of his earliest clients, including a suit for Dallas-based resident Faye Gould and a 1985 evening suit for Dallas philanthropist Louise Gartner. In spring 2007, Faircloth created a green beaded silk evening gown for the inauguration of Dr. Gretchen M. Bataille, the first female president of UNT. Her gown will be included in this exhibition, along with fashions of many notable Dallas women.

Bataille receiving the $100,000 check from Ed Shipman of Happy Hill Farm Academy

Faircloth created a green beaded silk evening gown for the inauguration of Dr. Gretchen M. Bataille.

The exhibition will also feature an evening dress of blue sequined velvet, worn by First Lady Laura Bush to one of the festivities during the 2001 presidential inauguration, and a blue wool suit and coat, worn to the 2001 presidential swearing-in ceremony. An original drawing of the famous red evening gown worn by Bush for the 2001 presidential inauguration will also be in the exhibition. The gown itself is displayed in the Smithsonian.

"This exhibition has been planned for a long time," Walker says. "Working with Michael on this exhibition is a real pleasure because his work has so much integrity. His work is proven over time, often continuing with the next generation. Michael has discreetly and consistently pleased his clients for more than 24 years. That says a lot right there."

UNT opened Fashion on Main in September 2006 with 500 square feet of space at Universities Center at Dallas - the original Titche-Goettinger department store that now provides office and classroom space for several higher education institutions, including UNT. The exhibition space is expected to expand to 3,500 square feet into the adjacent 1900 Elm Street building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, in the near future.

The original gallery area that opened in 2006 was made possible with support from the Fashionistas, a non-profit group founded by Heidi Dillon of Dallas. The exhibition space is dedicated to showcasing items from UNT's prestigious Texas Fashion Collection, considered one of the most important historic fashion collections in the country.

"Michael is our very own haute couturier," Dillon says. "His designs reflect the true personality and style of each individual client, and, of course, the fit is perfection. That's the beauty of wearing a Michael Faircloth."

The Texas Fashion Collection began in 1938 when Stanley and Edward Marcus preserved examples of top designers' works in honor of their aunt Carrie Marcus Neiman, a co-founder of the Neiman Marcus store. The Carrie Marcus Neiman Foundation maintained the collection after her death in 1953, and the Dallas Fashion Group took over in the 1960s at the Apparel Mart. The collection, then known as the Dallas Museum of Fashion, came to the UNT campus in 1972 and was later renamed the Texas Fashion Collection. It has grown from 3,000 items to more than 15,000 historic items today.

Designs from the Texas Fashion Collection also were recently featured at the Meadows Museum in "Balenciaga and His Legacy," an exhibition curated by Walker.

"Reflections: Work by Michael Faircloth" is sponsored by The Fashionistas, Dallas Modern Luxury and GREY GOOSE Vodka.

UNT News Service Press Release
Ellen Rossetti can be reached at erossetti@unt.edu.

Read other stories in this issue:

September 2007

About UNT Insider

The UNT Insider, a monthly e-newsletter, connects UNT alumni and others to the university by letting you hear directly from President Gretchen M. Bataille.

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