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Kentucky Derby Museum opens new exhibit showcasing 150 years of Derby fashion



Kentucky Derby Museum opens new exhibit showcasing 150 years of Derby fashion

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The Kentucky Derby Museum unveiled the grand opening of its new exhibit on Wednesday. See & Be Seen: 150 Years of Derby Fashion, is a time capsule that takes visitors through decades of Kentucky Derby ® fashion.

The exhibit features 32 ensembles dating as far back as the 1860s as well as historic fashion artifacts from the Kentucky Derby Museum Permanent Collection, the Kentucky Historical Society and more. Special guests and several fashionistas who made notable contributions were there for the unveiling.

Back in 2023, the museum launched a public fashion contest. Some of the winners of the contest now have their ensembles and accessories on display in the exhibit. Winners of the contest were invited and honored with a sash during the ribbon cutting.

As part of a new program, guests who visit the exhibit in July will have the chance to enter a drawing to win a Derby Fashion and Hat Workshop for a group of four.

Chris Goodlett, Director of Curatorial and Educational Affairs, said the exhibit is representative of every kind of Derby-goer.

“We hope that guests see themselves in this collection – from the extravagant to the casual, to the do-it-yourselfer, there’s truly something that speaks to everyone,” Goodlett said.

Pat Armstrong, Kentucky Derby Museum’s President and CEO, said the exhibit is as much a homage to the past 150 years as a mirror to the next century.

“Like many things in life, we know that fashion repeats itself over time,” Armstrong said. “You can see the parallels to the past in the winning contest submissions, and that speaks to the longevity and phenomenon that is the Kentucky Derby.”

See & Be Seen: 150 Years of Derby Fashion is now open to the public on the second floor of the museum and is included with a general admission ticket.

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