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January 29, 2013

A Fashionable Impact

By Erin Schumaker | Fashion

The CFDA

NORMA KAMALI, Photograph by Mark Seliger

According to fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg, American designers have always had an impact on how people dress, which is the notion at the center of a new exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. “Impact: 50 Years of the Council of Fashion Designers of America” highlights the work of the CFDA, a fashion trade organization whose illustrious members include the likes of Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Norma Kamali and, of course, von Furstenberg, who also serves as the council’s president.

“Impact” features the work of nearly 600 designers, each of whom was asked to select a single object or ensemble that best represents his or her influence on the fashion world. Then curators, historians and industry insiders worked together to select representations for the historical designers. Highlights include a gathered skirt and halter top made of parachute cloth by Kamali (shown here) and a golden-hued floor-length dress by de la Renta.

The collaborative nature of the exhibition is highly unusual—it is much more common for a museum exhibit to be curated by an individual, says council CEO Steven Kolb. “The result is a rather eclectic representation of innovation and style.” Through April 21; 501 Plaza Real; 561-392-2500; bocamuseum.org.

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