Dear ACI Members,

Welcome to Arizona Costume Institute’s fall season!    

It’s so nice to be able to say goodbye to the Arizona summer and get geared up for all that fall has to offer in “The Valley." The best of fall is right here at Arizona Costume Institute and Phoenix Art Museum.

The following is the ACI schedule at a glance through December:

October 8 — 2nd Wednesday Luncheon & Lecture

Anna Piaggi: Creativity and Passion in Fashion and Beyond

October 27 — Exhibition: ultracontemporary

November 14 — 2nd Wednesday Luncheon & Lecture

Women in Fashion: More than Just Pretty Faces                     

December 3 — ACI Holiday Luncheon

featuring Stephen Jones     

I’m looking forward to seeing you all this fall. Thank you for your continued support of ACI.

Luba Burns

ACI President 2018-2019

Dennita Sewell, The Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design's Summer Reading List

With temperatures exceeding 115 degrees in Phoenix, now is the best time to stay inside and catch up on your fashion literature. Lucky for you, Dennita Sewell, The Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design is sharing her "must have" summer reading material with you all! In no particular order, here are Dennita's current favorites.

1. Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Fashion

2. Going Global: The Textile and Apparel Industry

3. Dress in 18th Century Europe

4. Vestoj: Issue 4 On Fashion and Power

5. Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi

6. Noguchi's imaginary landscapes

7. The Secret Power of Yoga


The November 4th First Friday at Phoenix Art Museum will be one for the books as it will be the first time the public will be able to see Emphatics: Avant Garde Fashion of 1963-2013.

In 2015, Phoenix Art Museum acquired an extensive archive of avant-garde fashion collected by James and Karin Legato who owned and operated Emphatics, an exclusive store in Pittsburgh. Featuring works by designers such as Azzedine Alaïa, Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Thierry Mugler, John Galliano, John Paul Gaultier, and Romeo Gigli, along with original runway show invitations, videos, and accessories.

Over the upcoming weeks we will be sharing insight and behind the scenes looks to our upcoming exhibition so be sure to check back every Friday for the latest look into Emphatics!


In remembrance of Bill Cunningham, a true fashion icon and New York Times photographer, our Curator of Fashion Design, Dennita Sewell would like to share a special photo and personal note that Mr. Cunningham hand delivered to her in 1995, while she was working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Cunningham photographed Dennita at the Costume Institute's opening gala for Orientalism: Visions of The East in Western Dress. Bill was impressed by that jacket Dennita was wearing which she made and modeled after Christian Dior's "New Look."

Here is what the note Bill wrote to Dennita (written on the back of the image below) says:

Dear Dennita,
What a joy seeing the results of your work. Dior would have approved of the tailoring. The pattern matching on the seams...the shape of your jacket and most of all the refinement. The further we get from the 1947 new look the more people seem to exaggerate and vulgarize what was so elegant and refined in Dior’s original. You have captured all that Dior presented.
If you kids have time, I would enjoy a fashion table lunch at your museum lunch room. Call and leave a message when it would be convenient. I was sorry the paper did not use this print but they try not to use photos of people looking in the camera lens.
Best regards,