A Life in Style: The Wardrobe of James E. Mulholland

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Friday, 30 June, 2023 - 11:00 am to Sunday, 28 April, 2024 - 4:00 pm

Rockwell Hall
Higbee Gallery

Clothes are an expression of who we are. This exhibition tells the personal story of James Mulholland through a selection from his wardrobe. It is a reflection on how clothes are incorporated into a life. Influences on his style range from film references, favorite designers' collections, a love of fine craftmanship and playful reinterpretation of classic menswear. The items on display span decades and showcase the evolution of how he dressed. The looks, both past and present, are assembled from personal favorite pieces that blend various designers across seasons and years. Mulholland’s personal style emphasizes attention to proportion and contrasting textures. Rather than rigidly following rules or trends, his outfits reflect a spirit of fun, experimentation and humor.

As a fashion industry insider, Mulholland is appreciative of the subtleties of design and craftsmanship. His wardrobe over the years is a reflection of innovative menswear of the highest quality. It is a lesson in the beauty of artful play of details within the seemingly rigid parameters of permissible masculine dress. Compared to women’s fashion, menswear is limited in color, cut, and material. The designers that he wears are known for their exploration within these limitations. Among the designers whose work is included are Prada, Tom Ford for Gucci, Calvin Klein, Yohji Yamamoto, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jil Sander and Dries Van Noten. Rather than explore the creative genius of individual designers, however, this exhibition emphasizes the role of the consumer in determining what style looks like. Mulholland has made a significant donation of his remarkable wardrobe to the permanent collection of the KSU Museum. The exhibition mixes these pieces from the gift with items that Mulholland continues to own and to wear.

The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Karen and Ken Conley and the Ohio Arts Council.

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