Woodbury University now has examples of off-the-rack designer fashions of the late 20th century that integrate branding and menswear following a contribution from a high-profile entrepreneur.
Lynda Resnick, billionaire co-founder of POM, has donated 40 items from her personal wardrobe to the university Fashion Design Department featuring labels like Geoffrey Beene, Chanel, Azzedine, Thierry Mugler and Yves Saint Laurent. Twenty pieces were recently unveiled in an exhibition titled “Ready-to-Wear, 1985-1995: Selections from a Donation of Lynda Resnick” in the Tamkin Fashion Center on campus.
It’s the newest contribution to the Woodbury University Fashion Study Collection, which already has more than 5,000 pieces of clothing and accessories ranging from the 18th century to the present. Students learn about the evolution of styles and construction by examining items from the collection.
Students in the Fashion Exhibition course—Eric Ladouceur, Tina Pogosian, Yvonne Sone and Grace Swoope—mounted the display under the guidance of Melinda Kerstein, curator; and Maria Carrillo, collections manager.
These classic examples of designer ready-to-wear from the 1980s and 1990s will enhance the holdings of collection, Kerstein said.
“The students here will benefit from this donation, whether they study the pieces for aesthetic design inspiration, their construction details or within the context of their fashion history classes,” she said.
Some of the designs in the display are examples of design details taken from menswear, Kerstein added. The suit became appropriate business attire for both men and women.
“From Chanel, Mrs. Resnick gave Woodbury a classic Chanel suit with a cardigan-style jacket and an evening dress modeled after a tuxedo,” she said. “There is also a wonderful Mugler suit with a detachable collar that is reminiscent of a man’s late 17th century cravat. It has the bold lines of the 1980s ‘power suit,’ with its wide shoulders and nipped-in waistline.”
Kerstein also noted Geoffrey Beene’s use of his signature polka dot motif in several of the garments in the Resnick collection, denoting the importance of branding during that time period.
The Resnick donation is a unique gift, said Edward M. Clift, dean of Woodbury’s School of Media, Culture & Design.
“And the highest profile gift we’ve had given to the collection,” he said. “Mrs. Resnick has been able to identify important items in the history of fashion and acquire them. She can identify trends and styles other people might overlook.”
What: “Ready-to-Wear, 1985-1995: Selections from the Donation of Lynda Resnick”
When: Viewing available during campus hours, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through July
Where: Tamkin Fashion Center in Cabrini Hall, Woodbury University, 7500 Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank
Contact: (818) 767-0888