Thank you to Ohio. Find It Here. and the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio for sponsoring this post.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Lancaster, Ohio for the day to visit the fashion exhibition Distinctly Paramount inside the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio. It was a magical day and my first visit to the charming hidden gem town that is Lancaster!
Joe and I were both struck by how beautiful and quaint the area is, and this trend continued once we arrived at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio (DACO). Housed inside the historic Reese-Peters house, DACO is a nonprofit museum that strives to engage the community with innovating and stimulating exhibitions while preserving and showcasing the architectural masterpiece it is housed within.
The current exhibition, Distinctly Paramount: Fashion and Costume from the Paramount Pictures Archive, is a fashion and entertainment lovers’ dream! Curated by Lancaster native and Paramount Pictures Costumes and Prop Archivist Randall Thropp, this exhibition perfectly blends iconic fashions with the hit movies we all know.
It was nice to see a mix of modern-day fashions and creations from movies made decades ago. There are multiple nods to famed costume designer Edith Head throughout Distinctly Paramount.
I loved how the rooms are organized. There’s a room for prints, black pieces, white pieces, solid colors, and black and white mixed pieces. It’s very visually appealing!
Our sweet docent asked me what my favorite piece was in the exhibition. A truly impossible-to-answer question! Instead, I picked a favorite piece from each room. I was most mesmerized by both the print and black and white rooms. The colors in the room of prints were just so fun and cheerful, something this color-lover always appreciates.
The black and white prints room was also enchanting for me. As much as I love color, I also live for a black and white fashion moment and the fashions in there were inspiring! The outfit I’m looking at in the picture below was worn by Kristen Wiig in Zoolander 2 and it was very ornate. I loved the pattern mixing and the dramatic collar and cuffs because it’s a perfect statement piece for such a fashion-centric film.
I really enjoyed learning about Edith Head and how much she contributed to the fashion world. I learned she had a helping hand in popularizing the “little black dress”, as she was a costume supervisor on the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Coincidentally I also wore a little black dress that day, accessorized with a white flower pin!
In addition to the Distinctly Paramount exhibition we also had a docent give us a tour of the Reese-Peters House in which the museum is housed. The architecture and attention to detail are incredible! The beautiful arched staircase leads you up to the exhibition and was a focal point of the building. Everywhere you look up inside the Reese-Peters House you are greeted with striking woodwork that was meticulously constructed. It’s something you just don’t see in modern architecture.
I could share more of the hundreds of photos and videos I took on our visit, but I’ll let you experience it for yourself! We had a wonderful trip from start to finish. In addition to viewing the exhibition itself there are also other programs tied to Distinctly Paramount to get a fully immersive experience.
On Saturday, September 8, a fashion show with four Ohio-based designers will take place, with designs inspired by pieces on display from the Paramount archives. On October 2, costume professional Betsey Potter will be on hand to share the process of restoring, cleaning, and displaying vintage fashions. It will be a helpful lesson in what to do and not to do in regards to vintage clothing!
There are other programs taking place in collaboration with Distinctly Paramount. To see a full rundown, check out the exhibition page here!