Photo Credits: Behind the scenes photo of Patrick Kelly, Patrick Kelly Archive, Sc MG 631, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. Cross Colours Ad with TJ Walker and Carl Jones, ca 1992, courtesy of the Cross Colours Archives.
From Couture to da’ Streets: The Fashions of Patrick Kelly + Cross Colours
September 4, 2021-January 8, 2022
Paris, London, Milan, New York, and Mississippi – famed sources of fashion design. Yes, Mississippi warrants recognition, as two of America’s most influential fashion designers are from the state. The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience honors designers Patrick Kelly and Thomas “TJ” Walker in the exhibition which features clothing, sketches, and related ephemera.
"While Kelly worked to destigmatize racist iconography, Walker worked to uplift the black community through positive messages. In tandem, both men changed the world, and that’s why people should come see this exhibition,” said Stacey Wilson, Curator of Exhibitions at The MAX. “They inspire and encourage others to make their own mark on the world.” Today, both designers are seeing a resurgence in popularity because the message behind the clothing resonates with many in the current racial and political atmosphere.
To assemble this unique exhibition, Wilson borrowed artifacts and other materials from Jackson State University, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, and the Los Angeles-based Cross Colours enterprise. A robust schedule of programs will support the exhibit, as The MAX engages diverse audiences.
"Patrick Kelly has a witty way with fashion.” –The Washington Post, 1988
“Through their bold designs and graphics, Walker and Jones originally set out to craft positive messaging around African American culture and oppression.” –Vogue, 2019.
Admission to the From Couture to da’ Streets: The Fashions of Patrick Kelly + Cross Colours exhibition is free. To view the entire museum, visitors are required to pay regular museum admission prices.
Photo by Michael Segal