Lunchable: View a World of Garments at the Design Museum

Dress from China.
Thob (segments), Palestine, 1969 Embroidered garment pieces for woman’s tunic, including front and back bodices, side panels and two sleeves. Gift of Katherine Rossbach (Ellen Caminiti/UC Davis).

Lunchable is a regular feature of the UC Davis Arts Blog that recommends an arts attraction that can be viewed during a lunch or other short break.

Story and photos by UC Davis News and Media Relations Intern Ellen Caminiti

As fall quarter gets well underway, you might find yourself in need of a good lunch spot. So head over the Cruess Hall, grab a bench or spot on the lawn, eat your snack or lunch and then go inside for "dessert," or a feast of another making. 

Located in the cool, quiet and aesthetically pleasing UC Davis Design Museum in Cruess Hall, “Shape Up: Case Studies in Fashion Making,” is the current exhibition. 

At A Glance

The Design Museum, part of the College of Letters and Science, is located in Cruess Hall, Room 124, on the UC Davis campus.

It is free and open weekdays noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays 2 to 4 p.m.

The free exhibit showcases ethnic clothing, shown from the inside out, from Africa, Asia and Central America as well as western garments from the UC Davis Jo Ann C. Stabb Design Collection. The work reveals the hidden structures, patterns and shaping methods that underlie fashion creation.  

Running until Dec. 8, visitors can view garments from all over the world. The various garments act as time stamps, as one can get a glimpse of what the culture was like in the particular time and region where the garment originated. 

Left to Right: Woman's Robe, USA 1950s- Loosely fitted gown with set-in sleeves, side seam darts, and front zipper opening trimmed by repurposed original Chinese embroidered panels; Ch'i-fu, China, early 20th century- dragon robe in blue silk with multi-colored and gold metallic brocaded twelve imperial symbols,dragons, clouds, and waves; Qipao, China, late 20th century- Woman's dresses developed from the traditional silhouette of Ch'i-fu and shaped by darts and stylized side seams. (Photos/Ellen Caminiti)

As Adele Zhang, lecturer and design collection curator, described in a story about the exhibition's opening, “From a giant African boubou formed by nine pieces of off-loom strips to an elaborate Japanese kimono with a center back seam and an opening in the front, the pattern diagram examples displayed in this section stress simplicity and flexibility, a no-cut design concept, and form of artistic practice that has stood the test of time.

The Design Museum, part of the College of Letters and Science, is in Cruess Hall, Room 124. It is free and open weekdays noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays 2 to 4 p.m. Click here for more information on this exhibit. And, read the Arts Blog story from the exhibition's opening.

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