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Fashion Show Benefits Kent State University Museum

Posted May, 28, 2010

“Lunch With Kate: Celebrating Katharine Hepburn’s Influence on Fashion” heralded original Katharine Hepburn exhibition opening at the fashion museum on Oct. 2, 2010

On May 12, a sold-out fashion show produced by Dillard’s, Inc. was held at Sammy’s at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, Ohio, to benefit the Kent State University Museum. The fashion show was applauded by a capacity crowd of 250 guests and raised $8,000 for the museum.

Photo from fashion show benefiting Kent State University MuseumThe Kent State University Museum is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. “Lunch With Kate: Celebrating Katharine Hepburn’s Influence on Fashion” was the first major pre-opening event for “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen,” the museum’s original exhibition opening Oct. 2. Dillard’s was the presenting sponsor for the event, with additional support from H/L Communications, Sammy’s and WCLV 104.9 FM. 

“Kent State University has an excellent, nationally-recognized museum and school of fashion design and merchandising,” said David Terry, president of Dillard’s Midwest Division. “Dillard’s is thrilled to support such a great institution and exhibition.”

Hepburn is listed by the American Film Institute as Hollywood’s greatest screen legend and universally recognized as a role model for generations of women. During a career that spanned six decades, Hepburn won four Academy Awards as best actress, a record still unequaled. 

“Hepburn’s mark on 20th century fashion is indisputable,” said Jean Druesedow, director of the Kent State University Museum and curator of the forthcoming exhibit. “Her sense of style still influences the informal, elegant approach to American style as well as trends and designs seen on today’s runways.”

Created by Jerry Talamantes, Dillard’s director of special events and public relations, the Dillard’s fashion show presented a myriad of fashion “looks” influenced by or associated with Miss Hepburn.  Models were dressed in more than 60 ensembles ranging from sporty to glamorous, Tomboy to ultra feminine, and from linen trousers to strapless gowns.

Talamantes incorporated Hepburn’s voice to the fashion presentation and used three models dressed as Hepburn herself. Whenever a Hepburn look-alike appeared on the catwalk, other models would hold and freeze in place, alluding to the fact that the fashion world still stops and pays attention to Hepburn’s iconic image and influence.

“Styling the show using Dillard’s wide assortment of apparel became easy once I realized that Kate’s influence on fashion can be found throughout the store and in any given season,” Talamantes said.  “Doing this show and supporting the museum has been great fun.”

The Katharine Hepburn exhibition will run from Oct. 2, 2010, through Sept. 4, 2011. Before the exhibit officially opens, the museum will be the setting for “25 Years of Dazzle,” a gala celebrating the museum’s 25th anniversary, on Sept. 25, 2010.  The gala will offer guests the chance to tour the Katharine Hepburn exhibit. Special guests include Robert Osborne, the host of Turner Classic Movies, and Ann Rutherford, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s sister Careen in “Gone With the Wind.”

After the exhibit opens, a full schedule of events created and managed by H/L Communications will cover Hepburn’s influence on fashion, her life and artistry, stage and screen costume design, and the impact of the entertainment industry on fashion.  

For more information about the gala, the Hepburn exhibit and other exhibits and programs, visit the Kent State University Museum’s website at www.kent.edu/museum or the museum’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Kent-OH/Kent-State-University-Museum/96914435300).

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About the Kent State University Museum
Closely linked to the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State University, the Kent State University Museum contains important collections of fashion and decorative arts; provides students with first-hand experience with historic and contemporary fashions, as well as costumes representing many of the world's cultures; and serves both the university and the community through exhibitions and public programs, and, by appointment, research in the collections. The Kent State University Museum marks its 25th anniversary in 2010-11, and pre-opening programming for the Katharine Hepburn exhibit culminates at the museum’s 25th anniversary gala titled “25 Years of Dazzle,” which includes special guest Robert Osborne, host of Turner Classic Movies. Honorary chairs for the gala are Reuben and Isabel Toledo. After the exhibition opens, a full schedule of events will cover Hepburn’s influence on fashion, her life and artistry, stage and screen costume design, and the impact of the entertainment industry on fashion. For more information, go to www.kent.edu/museum.

About Dillard’s, Inc.
Dillard's ranks among the largest apparel, cosmetics and home furnishings retailers in the country. With annual revenue exceeding $6.2 billion, Dillard's focuses on delivering maximum fashion and value to its clientele with a diverse and compelling assortment of products. The company founded by William T. Dillard in 1938 is still family operated with 299 stores in 29 states, 12 clearance centers and online at www.dillards.com.

Photo Caption:
A sold-out fashion show produced by Dillard’s, Inc. raised $8,000 for the Kent State University Museum. The show called “Lunch With Kate: Celebrating Katharine Hepburn’s Influence on Fashion” was the first major pre-opening event for “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen,” the museum’s original exhibition that opens Oct. 2, 2010.

Media Note: 
To request photos from Dillard’s fashion show and images of Katharine Hepburn and exhibition items, contact James Harris at jharris@hlcommunications.com or 440-729-1426.

Media Contacts:
James Harris, jharris@hlcommunications.com, 440-729-1426
Effie Tsengas, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398
Julie Bull, julie.bull@dillards.com, 501-376-5965