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FIrst Fashion and Video Art Exhibition at McNay Art Museum Celebrates the Iconic Decade of the 1990s

Rachel Trevino |

Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday on View January 30 through May 17, 2020

San Antonio, TX – From gowns to grunge, Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday marks the first fashion and video art exhibition in McNay history. Set in the wake of the Cold War, in a decade of great hope and freedom ushered in by the fall of the Berlin Wall, the innovative installation celebrates the fearless designers, photographers, and video artists who made the 1990s iconic and worthy of its current revival.

“As a museum dedicated to innovation in the art of our times, the McNay proudly honors the bold artistic achievements of a decade that did more to pave the way for change than any other since the 1960s,” said Richard Aste, McNay Director and CEO. “Through their authentic, experimental creations, the era’s emerging artists captured the optimism, anxiety, and diversity of a generation poised to reinvent itself.”

Fashion Nirvana features over 60 garments by famous designers Dior, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Carolina Herrera, Patrick Kelly, Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham, Oscar de la Renta, Vivienne Tam, Gianni Versace, Vera Wang, and more. 

Advances in technology made video art increasingly accessible during the 1990s, and video artists responded to music, pop culture, advertising, and fashion of the time. Paired alongside fashion ensembles, projections by video artists Rineke Dijkstra, Mariko Mori, Tony Oursler (in collaboration with 90s band Sonic Youth), Pipilotti Rist, San Antonio-native Jim Mendiola, and more create a multi-sensory experience. Paintings and sculptures from the McNay’s collection are also in conversation with the garments on view.

“I started 6th grade in 1989 and graduated from college in 2000, so my formative years were defined by the music, fashion, and pop-culture of the 1990s decade,” said Kate Carey, Head of Education and Co-Curator of Fashion Nirvana. “From television reboots to combat boots, the nineties are having a comeback. I hope the exhibition sparks connection with visitors of all ages to the cultural touchstones that made the decade so iconic.”

Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday is co-organized by the McNay Art Museum and Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas, curated by Kate Carey, Head of Education; Jackie Edwards, former Assistant Curator; and Lauren Thompson, Assistant Curator; and assisted by Alexis T. Meldrum, 2019-2020 Semmes Foundation Intern in Museum Studies.

Major support is provided by Mercedes T. Bass, Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation. Additional support is provided by the Host Committee, chaired by Alice Carrington Foultz.

Photo & Video: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2pk89jdgo0ganqg/AABpiM3PhLyMCRQ2RqDSq6KWa?dl=0

Fashion Nirvana Events & Programs:

Educators explore, unwind, and rewind in the McNay’s first-ever fashion and video art exhibition featuring a keynote address by one of the exhibition curators, an exhibition tour, and 90s-inspired workshops. Teachers receive three hours of continuing professional education creditSpace is limited and registration is required.

Fee (includes refreshments and teacher packet): McNay members $20; nonmembers $25. Register online at mcnayart.org/workshops.

Dress grunge, glam, goth, or your favorite fashion trend during a 90s throwback night. Challenge friends to a trivia match or a runway walk-off and enjoy 90s music, movies, food, and dancing. Fee (includes admission to the exhibition Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday): McNay members $10, teens $10, and nonmembers $20. Cash bar available.

Dress as your favorite Clueless character for this screening of a cult-classic that spurred the purchase of many a plaid skirt, sweater vest, and knee socks. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket for this outdoor screening. Film begins at sundown. Food available for purchase; picnics welcome. This event is free and open to the public.

Open to high school students only. Enjoy exclusive access to McNay exhibitions, meet the curators of 1990s-inspired Fashion Nirvana, screenprint a commemorative poster, or just hang out and listen to local bands. Free food provided, and coffee available for purchase. Teens can RSVP for this free event at mcnayart.org/teennight.

Enjoy 1990s-inspired art activities, live music on the grounds by all-star Selena tribute band Bidi Banda, family tours, and free museum admission—including Fashion Nirvana. This event is free and open to the public.

Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime luncheon featuring world-renowned designer Isaac Mizrahi. The fashionable conversation will be led by San Antonio’s premiere fashion expert, Michael Quintanilla. A book signing follows. Visit mcnayart.org/luncheon to purchase tickets.

Experience the inspiration for the exhibition and follow along: https://fashionnirvana.tumblr.com/

About McNay Art Museum

The McNay Art Museum engages a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the visual arts. Built in the 1920s by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay, the Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas’s first modern art museum when it opened in 1954. Today, 200,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The 23 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds include sculptures by Robert Indiana, Luis A. Jiménez Jr., George Rickey, Joel Shapiro, and Kiki Smith.