Touching upon a variety of mediums, including video, photography, and exclusive memorabilia, the retrospective presents over eighty pieces of work gifted to the venue by Kelly’s business and life partner, Bjorn Guil Amelan, and Bill T. Jones, a director, choreographer, and dancer. Attendees will browse through six sections, each narrating different aspects of the artist’s career and highlighting inspirations, formative moments, and the creation of works.
“As the first American and first black designer to be invited to become a member of the French fashion industry’s prestigious Chambre Syndicale, Patrick Kelly’s significance to the history of 20th century fashion has been overlooked,” says Dilys E. Blum, the Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland senior curator of costume and textiles at the museum. “I hope that this exhibition will reaffirm his importance. Philadelphia embraced Kelly before he became famous, [as] the Toby Lerner boutique was one of the first to purchase his designs.”
ABOVE, FROM LEFT: Woman's Ensemble: Coat and Dress, Fall/Winter 1986. Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Coat: Printed rayon twill. Dress: Wool and spandex knit, plastic buttons. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones; Woman's Dress, Fall/Winter 1986. Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Wool and spandex knit, plastic. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones; Woman's Dress and Gloves, Fall/Winter 1988. Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Dress: Wool knit, acetate faille, cotton embroidery. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones. Gloves: Wool knit, plastic. Purchased with the Costume and Textiles Revolving Fund, 2012.