Experience the work of internationally known couture designers from Charlotte Collectors

Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Dolce & Gabbana, and more in “Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture and Fabulous Fashion,” opening October 14 at Mint Museum Randolph

Better than a front-row runway seat, the new Mint-organized exhibition Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture and Fabulous Fashion will offer up-close, 360-degree views of gowns, dresses, and ensembles from leading 21st-century designers when it opens October 14 at Mint Museum Randolph.

On view through February 4, 2018, the exhibition is part of the three-exhibition series known as the “Year of Fashion” at The Mint Museum, celebrating an art form the Mint has collected for more than 40 years. Members of the media and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition at 10 a.m. on Thursday October 12 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road. Light breakfast will be served and Mint curators and participating collectors will be available for interviews. RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org.

This exhibition, generously presented to the Charlotte community with support from PNC Financial Services, focuses on individuals in the Charlotte community who consider fashion an important form of art and design, and collect both one of a kind masterworks and ready-to-wear garments of the highest quality. Additional support is provided by a group of Mint patrons known as the Friends of Fashion. (More information at mintmuseum.org/art/projects/the-year-of-fashion-at-the-mint-museum/ )

A range of contemporary designers from the U.S., Canada, Taiwan, Europe, and Japan are featured, and reflect the personal fashion philosophies of eleven individuals known for their unique style: Ann Tarwater, Lisa Dargan, Amanda Weisinger Cornelson, Alex Holleman, Dr. Kim Blanding Putney, Myra Gassman, Ashley Anderson Mattei, Deidre Grubb, Laura Vinroot Poole, Chandra Johnson, and recently added, noted Charlotte style icon and NFL Quarterback Cam Newton .

“There is such masterful craftsmanship and innovative technology in contemporary fashion from the cloth itself – hand embroidery, digital printing, pressure pleating – to the pattern making, construction, and draping,” said Annie Carlano, senior curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion at the Mint. “What visitors will see in the galleries is both traditional centuries-old sewing techniques and 21st century inventiveness.”

“We are thrilled to help the Mint deliver a relevant and compelling exhibition to the community that brings art alive for new audiences,” said Weston M. Andress, Regional President – Western Carolina for PNC.

Media partners for the exhibition are Garden & Gun MagazineThe Charlotte Observer; and Peachy.

The Mint’s fashion collection has previously inspired spotlight exhibitions on designers including House of Chanel; Dior, Balmain, and Saint Laurent; and Franco Moschino. This year, it also serves as the inspiration for the exhibition William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016 at Mint Museum Uptown, and the forthcoming The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta in spring 2018 at Mint Museum Randolph.

“The specific fashions in the exhibition were selected because innovative examples by the fashion designer are on the museum’s ‘wish list;’ as we build the museum’s holdings of 21st-century international fashion, it is hoped that these and or similar examples will enter the permanent collection soon,” said Carlano. “Consider, for example, the neo-Romantic silhouettes of the Giambattista Valli, in the collections of Dargan, Anderson Mattei, and Vinroot Poole, which conjure up Cinderella at the ball. Equally sculptural but with more of an adventurous vibe are the fashion designs of Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcons, and Rodarte, in the collections of Myra Gassman and Chandra Johnson. Timeless elegance is interpreted by Jason Wu, Isaac Mizrahi, and Carolina Herrerra, from the collections of Alex Holleman, Chandra Johnson, and Ann Tarwater. Eclecticism is represented in an ensemble by Versace, as worn by Cam Newton.”

The exhibition will be available to all general-admission museum visitors and will be open FREE each Wednesday evening from 5-9 p.m. Related educational programming will occur throughout the exhibition; details available at mintmuseum.org/happenings .

Image: Isaac Mizrahi, designer (American, 1961–), Isaac Mizrahi New York, Xcel Brands (2011–). Evening gown made to order ready-to-wear design, 2009, silk. Collection of Chandra Johnson