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Sources: Jana Hawley, 785-532-6993,;
and Marla Day, 785-532-6993,
Web site:
News released prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6451,

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009


MANHATTAN -- A fundraising event with a fashionable and historic touch will mark the opening of a special exhibition at Kansas State University's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum featuring clothing and accessories from K-State's Historic Costume and Textile Museum.

A silent auction, special dress competition and evening of wine and hors' d'oeuvres are all part of fundraising activities for the Historic Costume and Textile Museum that will take place at the opening of the Beach Museum's "Little Black Dress -- On the Red Carpet" exhibition at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27.

"The funds raised will help the Friends of the Historic Costume and Textile Museum with new acquisitions as well as the preservation and conservation of items already in our collection, which is the largest in the Midwest and has items that date from the present day to 1740," said Marla Day, museum curator. The museum is part of the department of apparel, textiles and interior design in K-State's College of Human Ecology.

The fundraiser's silent auction features many items donated especially for the evening's festivities. A display of celebrity dresses, lent by Little Black Dress Wines, which have been worn at actual red carpet events, also will be on view. Dresses by Felicity Huffman of "Desperate Housewives," Edie Falco of "The Sopranos" and America Ferrera of "Ugly Betty" will be showcased. Also loaning dresses are Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius; Ruth Ann Wefald, K-State's first lady; Sharon Snyder, wife of K-State football coach Bill Snyder; Marianna Kistler Beach, for whom K-State's Beach Museum is named; and a dress worn by Mamie Eisenhower, on loan from the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene.

In addition, the Ohio State University Historic Costume and Textile Collection has lent dresses designed by Halston, Trigere, Montana, Ungaro and Versace, while the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum has lent dresses designed by Greer, Jaspar Conran and Norman Norell.

The winning entries in K-State's own Little Black Dress Design Competition also will be displayed. K-State design students and professionals are taking part in a competition to design their own original little black dresses, with more than 20 dresses submitted in the competition. The little black dress has been a fashion icon and a wardrobe essential since its inception by Coco Chanel in the 1920s.

Entries in the competition will be judged by three guest designers: Charles Kleibacker, known as the "master of the bias cut," a designer from New York City from 1960-1986 and currently an adjunct curator of design at The Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio; Jeigh Singleton, a member of the art/design faculty at Washington University's Sam Fox School in St. Louis, Mo., and a 1970 K-State graduate; and Linda Lee, owner of The Sewing Workshop Pattern Collection, a group of patterns for distinctive garments using innovative sewing techniques, the author of 13 books and a K-State alum. K-State's Joycelyn Falsken, assistant professor of apparel, textiles and interior design, organized the competition.

Music for the event will be provided by the K-State Jazz Combo, led by Wayne Goins, associate professor of jazz. A special pairing of wines and hors' d'oeuvres will be served. The Clarion Hotel is catering the event, with complimentary wines provided by Little Black Dress Wines.

Tickets for the "Little Black Dress -- On the Red Carpet" event are $30 per person, with sponsorships available for $250 and up. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the department of apparel, textiles and interior design at 785-532-6993 or Diana Landoll at 785-532-7343 or 1-800-432-1578.

"The Little Black Dress -- On the Red Carpet" exhibition will run through March 29 in the Beach Museum of Art's Vanier Gallery.

The mission of K-State's Historic Costume and Textile Museum is to preserve clothing and textile items of historic and artistic value that will facilitate educational, research and service activities in the department, College of Human Ecology and the university. Pieces in the museum's collection include clothing and textile artifacts, dolls, accessories, implements and tools associated with the creation of clothing and/or textiles, and a variety of paper artifacts such as patterns, period magazines and photographs. More information on the museum is available at