WEARABLE ART CREATIONS BY CONNECTICUT NATIVE DYLLIS SCHLOSSER BRAITHWAITE TO BE FEATURED IN EXHIBIT AT WINDHAM TEXTILE AND HISTORY MUSEUM
THE TIMELESS ART OF DYLLIS: FORTY YEARS OF CREATIVE CLOTHING
Opening reception Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 4 – 6 p.m.
Curated by Laura Crow, exhibit runs from March 18 – May 14, 2017
“Dyllis Braithwaite has style. It was evident the moment I met her in her marvelous shop filled to the brim with the most wonderful fabrics… She is a brilliant example of individuality – of someone taking such pleasure in cloth and wearing it as art. Dyllis is a traffic stopper and we all love her for it and the joy it has brought to us all!” – Andrea Reynders, designer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Professor Emeritus
Timeless, one of a kind, classical wearable art creations by Connecticut native and UCONN grad Dyllis Schlosser Braithwaite will be featured in The Timeless Art of Dyllis: Forty Years of Creative Clothing, an exhibit at the Windham Textile and History Museum, 411 Main Street, Willimantic, March 18 – May 14, 2017. The exhibit is open from Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $7.50. For more information, call 860-456-2178 or visit http://www.millmuseum.org/.
Braithwaite and curator Laura Crow will be on hand for the opening reception from 4 – 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
On view will be over 50 wearable art creations by Dyllis, ranging from purple mohair to cerise bouclé to lime green charmeuse the color of absinthe. Powerful colors, patterns and textures are mixed with dynamic garments to create a myriad of inspiring ideas.
Dyllis Schlosser, UCONN ’51, met Bill Braithwaite, UCONN ’50, at the University of Connecticut 4-H Club. At UCONN, Dyllis was a member of Phi Upsilon Omicron, the home economics honor society. Growing up in rural Litchfield County, Dyllis acquired an appreciation for beautiful fabrics from her mother. After college and marriage she taught at the Gilbert School in Winsted, Connecticut, her alma mater. A few years later, the couple moved to Barrington, Illinois where Dyllis managed Finn’s Fabrics for a short time before purchasing the business and transforming the store into a fabric haven for the entire Chicago area. During the next forty years, Dyllis created her wearable art wardrobe, published two books about her work and continues to turn heads wherever she goes prompting the comment, “Oh! I Love What You’re Wearing!” Both volumes of her book, featuring photographs by Maxine Cress, Bob Lee and Susan McConnell, will be for sale at the museum. In 2015 Braithwaite was recognized as a Lake County Illinois Woman of Distinction. Both Dyllis and Bill Braithwaite were selected to be featured in the Barrington Area Arts Council publication “Lives with Passion.” They have three children and five grandchildren.
“It’s been a joy to discover these wearable art treasures from one of UCONN’s alumna and see her extraordinary ability to combine colors and textures of fabrics into glorious wearable art,” says Crow. “Her eye is the eye of an artist and her palette is the exotic array of fabrics available over forty years at her high-end fabric store in the Chicago suburbs. It makes me weep for the loss of the creative home
seamstress/dressmaker in our society as the Home Economic departments have closed one by one, and we rely on fast fashion made overseas with incredible pressure to produce quickly with no refined finishing time allowed.”
Curator Laura Crow is Professor Emerita after twenty years of teaching Costume History, Design & Technology at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Dramatic Arts. She has designed Costumes for Broadway, Off-Broadway and Regional Theatres and represented the USA at the Prague Quadrennial five times. Among her awards are the Drama Desk, OBIE, American Theatre Wing, and Villager in New York City, Joseph Jefferson in Chicago, Bay Area Critics, three Drama-Logue awards and the Backstage West Garland Award for designs on the West Coast in LA and San Francisco and four ZONIs from Phoenix. She was included in the recent Lincoln Center Exhibition “Curtain Call: Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance,” focusing on 100 women designers from the past 100 years. Professor Crow is Vice Head of the Americas for the Costume Working Group for OISTAT (the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians) and acts as a liaison for the Costume Commission and the International Commission of USITT (United States Institute of Theatre Technology).
Professor Crow is proud to have been a Fulbright Senior Scholar exploring multiculturalism in festival dress of the Philippines and has spent time researching Carnival costumes in Cuba, Trinidad, New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro. She has authored two chapters for Masquerade: A Panorama that was published in the spring of 2015.
With her background and interest in cultural history, Professor Crow views the curating of museum exhibitions as a way to personalize history. When viewers are able to come close to the actual garments worn they are better able to visualize and empathize with those who wore them. Crow’s curatorial work includes the exhibition Women of New England: Dress from the Industrial Age 1850-1900 that was displayed at multiple locations in Connecticut from 2012 – 2014 with over 13,000 people attending. Beatrice Fox Auerbach: The Woman, Her World and Her Wardrobe about the CEO and owner of G. Fox department store in Hartford was also on display at multiple locations in Connecticut with the final showing in the winter and spring of 2016 at the Connecticut Historical Society where they had a record number of visitors. Other recent exhibitions include Princess for a Day: Wedding Gowns from 1860 – 1960 at the Dodd Center on the UCONN Campus and Breaking the Glass: The American Jewish Wedding in collaboration with the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford. Professor Crow’s most recent exhibition was titled The Eccentrics: The Evolution of the Eighties, at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts gallery on the UCONN campus during the summer of 2016. The Timeless Art of Dyllis: Forty Years of Creative Clothing is the first collaboration between Professor Crow and the Windham Textile and History Museum under director Jamie Eves.
Articles on Dyllis:
Women of Distinction Award: http://www.lakecountyjournal.com/magazine/articles/2015/10/13/wod/? page=3#.VvL5h-IrJD8