An Ode to the 90’s! Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday Fashion debuts at the McNay Art Museum

An Ode to the 90’s! Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday Fashion debuts at the McNay Art Museum

It seems like only yesterday we were living the 1990’s. For those of us whose formative years were during that decade, we remember clearly how MTV was still about Music Videos. It was an era that brought us Heroine Chic and Glamazons alike, walking the runways with big hair, full glam makeup by Kevin Aucoin, wearing fabulous creations by the likes Gianni Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Vivienne Tam, to name a few. We took out our angst to Grunge, grooved to R&B or learned every choreography to teen pop songs. With pop culture classics like Clueless, Empire Records, and Pulp Fiction, the 90’s seem to have a lasting impact and is still relevant today. It may be shocking, but 1990 was exactly 30 years ago and items from the last decade of the 20th century are now considered VINTAGE!


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I remember in junior high school, the 70’s were making a comeback and all I wanted to wear were bell bottomed jeans and flower power tops. Now, the 90’s are making a comeback and you can see how plaid is trending, high waisted jeans with crop tops and slip dresses over t-shirts are back in the best way, and the McNay Art Museum is definitely giving us the nostalgia we need to inspire our wardrobe in 2020.

From gowns to grunge, Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday marks the first fashion and video art exhibition in McNay history. Set in the wake of the Cold War, in a decade of great hope and freedom ushered in by the fall of the Berlin Wall, the innovative installation celebrates the fearless designers, photographers, and video artists who made the 1990s iconic and worthy of its current revival.

“As a museum dedicated to innovation in the art of our times, the McNay proudly honors the bold artistic achievements of a decade that did more to pave the way for change than any other since the 1960s,” said Richard Aste, McNay Director and CEO. “Through their authentic, experimental creations, the era’s emerging artists captured the optimism, anxiety, and diversity of a generation poised to reinvent itself.”


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Fashion Nirvana features over 60 garments by famous designers Dior, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Carolina Herrera, Patrick Kelly, Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham, Oscar de la Renta, Vivienne Tam, Gianni Versace, Vera Wang, and more. 

Advances in technology made video art increasingly accessible during the 1990s, and video artists responded to music, pop culture, advertising, and fashion of the time. Paired alongside fashion ensembles, projections by video artists Rineke Dijkstra, Mariko Mori, Tony Oursler (in collaboration with 90s band Sonic Youth), Pipilotti Rist, San Antonio-native Jim Mendiola, and more create a multi-sensory experience. Paintings and sculptures from the McNay’s collection are also in conversation with the garments on view.


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“I started 6th grade in 1989 and graduated from college in 2000, so my formative years were defined by the music, fashion, and pop-culture of the 1990s decade,” said Kate Carey, Head of Education and Co-Curator of Fashion Nirvana. “From television reboots to combat boots, the nineties are having a comeback. I hope the exhibition sparks connection with visitors of all ages to the cultural touchstones that made the decade so iconic.”


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Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday is co-organized by the McNay Art Museum and Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas, curated by Kate Carey, Head of Education; Jackie Edwards, former Assistant Curator; and Lauren Thompson, Assistant Curator; and assisted by Alexis T. Meldrum, 2019-2020 Semmes Foundation Intern in Museum Studies. The exhibition will run from January 3oth through May 17th, 2020. For more information, please visit mcnayart.org!


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Jeanelly Concepcion
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Originally from New York City, Jeanelly is of Dominican roots. Having lived in Puerto Rico for over 22 years, she now enjoys a highly successful fashion blogging career at TheFashionLotus.com. She is a Texas influencer and has been a freelance fashion contributor for Style Lush TV for several years. She believes in empowering women through fashion and helping them feel beautiful no matter what their financial situation, body shape, age or where they live or work.