In the summer and fall of 2012, I led a handful of graduate students through researching, curating, and promoting a costume exhibition at the State Museum of Nevada. It was called Vegas Style, and it was the talk of the city.
We featured 20 ensembles that ranged from Liberace’s sequined jumpsuit to 1960s evening wear worn by Judy Bayley, the first female casino owner. We borrowed costumes from Penn and Teller, The Flying Elvii, and even a showgirl or two. Of course, no exhibition on fashion in Las Vegas would be complete without a few suits from Sammie Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.
Students learned the hands-on skills of dressing mannequins and building out exhibition space, but they also collected and researched all of the materials for the show, including more than 70 historic photographs provided by our partners at The News Bureau of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association.
Here are some examples of our selections.
Here is some coverage of the exhibition in the media.