Monday Freebie: Icons of Style at The Ringling

Posted by Louis Wery on Sunday, October 6th, 2013 at 11:41am.

The first FREE opportunity to see The Ringling’s new “Icons of Style” exhibition happens tomorrow (Monday, October 7, 2013). Every Monday, the Museum of Art, including special exhibition galleries (but not the circus museums or Ca d’Zan), open free to the public as a legacy gift from museum founder John Ringling.

The show includes 132 items that curator Lauren Whitley, Curator of Textiles and Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts Boston chose from their collection. In addition to gorgeous evening gowns, there are beautifully fashioned men’s suits, fashion sketches, swatches of fabric and other materials as well as references to famous fashionistas.

“I didn’t even look at the info card. I could tell that was Elizabeth Taylor,” a woman said about a fashion sketch of the late actress. We were in a gallery devoted to the women who wore high fashion: Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Princess Diana, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and more.

The show includes classic Cecil Beaton photographs, fashion plates from the 1920s and even the gown designed by Arnold Scaasi that First Lady Barbara Bush wore to the January 21, 1989 inaugural ball. Remember the story that the designer called his other clients who bought the same dress and convinced them to wear something else?

Carolyn Hannan, Exhibition Designer at The Ringling, working with the on-site curators Virginia Brilliant and Chris Jones created an engaging flow that begins with a spectacular feathered gown by Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens for House of Rocha.

For more information, please call 941.359.5700 or visit

Models from SAKS Fifth Avenue at Members Preview for The Ringling's Icons of Style exhibition. Photo by Louis Wery

For more information about Sarasota & Her Islands, please contact Louis Wery.

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