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Fringe Fashion

Fringe Fashion

Take a peek at the Las Vegas fashion on display in a new exhibit curated by UNLV students.

Arts & Culture | Oct 30, 2012
  • The 1970s saw diaphanous, free-flowing maxi dresses replace the structured formalwear of previous decades. Formal attire could be comfortable and fashionable, as demonstrated by this fuchsia chiffon evening gown.
  • Owned by Judy Bayley, Las Vegas’ first female casino owner, it features a heavily embellished neckline and cuffs that catch the eye and provide definition for the airy body of the gown. UNLV has a theater named for Bayley.
  • Inspired by the clothing of working cowboys, the costumes worn during Helldorado Days took hats, chaps, shirts, and boots and embellished them with embroidery, rhinestones, and fringe to create the perfect union of function and fashion.
  • Initially used as a way to repel rainwater from clothing, fringe became an important decorative element of western wear. The use of fringe on these koolat pants provides a decorative detail while drawing the eye to the leg and highlighting the movement of the wearer.
  • Although showmanship was emphasized, ease of movement was absolutely essential to the design of Helldorado Days costumes.
  • Faux pearl snap buttons on the sleeves and front of the shirt catch the eye, adding sheen while ensuring the garment was easy to wear and perform in.
  • Hippie fashion of the late 1960s and 1970s drew inspiration from Middle Eastern and African styles, sparking the rise of kaftans and dashikis as daywear. Designers appropriated this trend and marketed lavish, Moroccan-style kaftans as hostess gowns for casual at-home entertaining.
  • This kaftan features a bright paisley print with gold and green sequin highlights, perfect as a day-to-night transitional piece.

UNLV public history students curated "Vegas Style," an exhibit on Las Vegas fashion in the 1960s and 1970s for the Nevada State Museum that opens Nov. 17. Alison Bazylinski, a graduate student in public history, comments on details of the artifacts in this slideshow.