Indiana State Museum

The Indiana State Museum has traditionally been known as a field trip type of museum but over the past few years they have created many exhibitions that are hands on, they’ve capitalized on the current interest of Indiana pop-culture and it’s connection to our past and created programming and experiences that have been very popular with families and young adults. The newest exhibit at the Indiana State Museum is a great blend of all of these ideals.

The Color of Style Fashion Experience

The newest addition to the galleries at the Indiana State Museum is the Color of Style Fashion Experience, open now through July 28, 2019.

Meghan Smith, the exhibit curator typically can be found working on the restoration of preservation of the items you’ll see in this gallery. She really felt she needed to find a way that the some of the beautiful pieces in the museum’s collection could be shared with the world. That’s when Color of Style was born. It wasn’t an easy task, but she found 150 items she wanted to share and then had to make the hard decision to narrow it down to a collection of about 50 pieces.

Reflections on Color in Fashion and Clothing

The Color of Style allows for guests to pause and consider how who we are and the roles we play all shape how we dress and even the colors we wear. Interactive video stations include interviews with Indiana fashion designers, fashion icons, creators of clothing dyes and others that are connected to fashion and color.

You’ll love perusing the collections that have everything from everyday wear from the 1800s, a party dress from the 1920s, an outfit from the Jackson 5, and incredible pieces from Hoosier designers Stephen Sprouse and Bill Blass. 

Taking Kids to The Color of Style

From the very start of the experience, kids will be drawn to the color tunnel that features walls of mermaid sequins that are two way reversible. The kids haven’t been able to get enough of this area. They create designs on the walls, they just run their hands across the fabric over and over again and they stare as the color lights above change the look of the walls.

Kids love the computer quiz to find their “hue”, there are two buttons to push and it’s super simple, no reading necessary, so even my little ones can get in to it! The wall of stickers with their color name label is so attractive, kids will want to get their own sticker, and maybe an extra one or two.

The nine fashion pods that feature outfits from different decades and centuries, divided by their colors might interest some children, but parents can draw them in to a conversation using the placards below each outfit, share the video interviews together and discuss what they’re seeing. Great questions to ask: “What is your favorite outfit in this area?” “Where do you think this person would have worn this outfit?” “What do you think the person who wore this was like?” “Does this look like anything you wear?”

The Style Studio, has a space for kids (and adults) to sketch their own unique fashions, get ideas from the inspiration boards of local designers and create special patterns on the interactive pattern design area. Also in this area, dress up the dress-forms using fabric tubes and ties to create your own look. There are several photo opportunities where visitors can stand behind a re-created cardboard cutout of some of the outfits, a space to dress up and accessorize so you can pose for the cover of a magazine and a space to cast your vote on who wore it best.

An inviting reading area is stocked with books about color for all reading levels; board books, picture books and more.

In addition, there are some pretty awesome, family friendly events scheduled surrounding The Color of Style.

The Color of Style Events

Family Night Out: Carnival of Color, March 22nd, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
It’s time for a color explosion! Come dressed in your most lavish colors to take part in a celebration that would put a peacock to shame. Experience the new experience The Color of Style, meet local fashion designers, try dyeing fabric, create a paintball mural, and experiment with your own color combinations.

Fashion Social, March 28, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Stylists, fashionistas, and designers: Join this adult social event to mingle with some favorite local artists to celebrate our newest exhibit, Color of Style. Meet local artists and designers, explore the exhibits, and show off your own stylish accessories.
Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Color of Style will be at the Indiana State Museum from March 16 through July 28, and entry is included with purchase of general museum admission. Some special events have a separate cost associated with them.