Famous Gowns Displayed in Fashion Museum

Nicole Nisson

The Stavropoulos dresses are from 1961-1991, and will be on display until Sept. 5.

From Jan. 22 to Sept. 5, Bland will be the guest curator in the Broadbent Gallery located in Rockwell Hall where 49 of Stavropoulos’ gowns are currently on display.

“I believe he will be remembered for his use of chiffon,” Bland said. “He was a magnificent artist and knew how to beautifully drape chiffon fabric.”

Bland said Stavropoulos often looked to his Greek heritage for inspiration.

He developed his fashion label from scratch in a tiny Manhattan apartment to a full runway show at the Regency Hotel with an elite following of clients.

“He dressed everyone from Sophia Loren to Grace Bumbry,” Bland said. “Lady Bird Johnson even sat for a White House portrait in one of his gowns.”

Bland said she believes Stavropoulos’ designs will continue to influence today’s fashion trends and construction.

“We have designers who have come to the museum in order to look at Stavropoulos’ dresses — particularly the chiffon ones,” said Sara Hume, Kent State University Museum curator and assistant professor. “Unlike other designers during the 50s and 60s, he did not simply copy Paris models for the ready-to-wear market; instead, he developed his own distinct style based on classical silhouettes.”

The Stavropoulos gowns are now owned by the Kent State University Museum. Images of the entire collection are available on the museum’s Web site.

Contact fashion reporter Nicole Nisson at [email protected]