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Museum Opens Vast Exhibit of Stavropoulos Chiffon Dresses

Posted Jan, 11, 2010

The Kent State University Museum will open an exhibit of 50 George Stavropoulos’ dresses on Jan. 22 in the Broadbent Gallery, located in Rockwell Hall on the corner of Main Street and South Lincoln Street in Kent, Ohio. Stavropoulos was a New York fashion designer who built a multimillion-dollar business on his signature, floating chiffon dresses.Photo of Stavropoulos dress

Born in Tripolis, Greece, Stavropoulis believed in classic design and found inspiration in the simplicity of ancient Greek sculpture. His self-titled label produced eveningwear and daytime styles for the wholesale, ready-to-wear market from 1961 to 1991. Stavropoulos believed in his own fashion philosophy and refused to adhere to the ephemeral nature of fashion, creating sophisticated styles that incorporated classic design and subtle innovation. Buyers from the most important stores in New York, as well as socialites and celebrities, attended each of his shows. Stavropoulos became known for dressing Lady Bird Johnson during her White House years and created looks for celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand and Maria Callas, as well as other popular figures throughout his career.

“Stavropoulos was good friends with the founders of the Kent State University Museum, Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers,” said Sara Hume, curator of the museum and of the exhibit. “Upon his death, a significant collection of his dresses as well as his archives of sketches and photographs were given to the university. We have taken advantage of this wealth of materials; this exhibition pulls together more than 50 Stavropoulos garments along with associated sketches, publicity stills and photographs from runway shows.”

The opening of the exhibition is scheduled for Jan. 22, a date chosen to coincide with Stavropoulos’ 90th birthday. The show runs through Sept. 5, 2010.

The Kent State University Museum is open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.; and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for ages 7-18, and free for children under 7. Tours are available for groups of 10 or more. Parking is free. The museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 330-672-3450 or visit www.kent.edu/museum.

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Media Note:  Images of the Stavropoulos garments are available upon request by contacting Effie Tsengas at etsengas@kent.edu or 330-672-8398.

Media Contacts:
Sara Hume, shume1@kent.edu, 330-672-3450
Effie Tsengas, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595