Check Out NOMA's First Fashion Exhibition: A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes

Showcasing rare pieces from one of the world’s largest private collections of Alexander McQueen fashion, New Orleans Museum of Art opened its first ever fashion exhibit titled A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, on February 21. NOMA's first couture exhibit will feature more than 100 articles of daring fashion in an interactive and immersive gallery presentation. 

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Each room of the A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes exhibit houses multimedia experiences of each of seven female archetypes: The Mother Earth, Sage, Magician, Enchantress, Explorer, Heroine and Thespian. Exhibit items include experimental gowns, headpieces, jewelry, and shoes by more than 50 of the world’s most insightful contemporary designers, artists and photographers.

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The exhibition includes household names like McQueen, Prada, Chanel and Comme des Garçons intermixed with other boundary-pushing fashion, like Chromat’s body-positive architectural looks, Rich Mnisi’s experimental videos and Iris van Herpen’s dresses that boldly use new technology and represent both the strengths and weaknesses of each archetype. 

“This exhibition shows beauty, certainly, but also pain, humor, power, and weakness,” said Mel Buchanan, NOMA’s RosaMary Curator of Decorative Arts & Design. “A Queen Within references the past and foretells the future, exploring how fashion can be about the complex human condition.”

The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses nearly 40,000 art objects encompassing 5,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Fridays from 10 AM to 9 PM; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 AM to 6 PM; Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM. NOMA offers docent-guided tours at 1 PM every Tuesday – Sunday. A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes runs through May 28.

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