SOURCE: Phoenix Art Museum

September 15, 2008 09:00 ET

90 Years of the Jumpsuit -- From Work Wear to Haute Couture

Versatile Garment Takes Flight in Phoenix Art Museum's One for All and All for One: The Jumpsuit

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - Skydivers wear them. Mechanics wear them. Iconic musicians wear them. Even Olympic swimmers wear them. Opening September 6 at Phoenix Art Museum, One for All, All for One: The Jumpsuit offers an unsurpassed 90 year exploration of jumpsuit fashion. From an original WWI women's factory uniform created in 1918 to several couture pieces fresh from the runways of New York and Paris, this original exhibition offers a retrospective view of both the fashion and function of the jumpsuit.

One for All, All for One explores the utilitarian beginnings of the jumpsuit -- a quintessential work and flight uniform of the early 20th century -- and follows the jumpsuit as it progresses and evolves into the often theorized one-piece garment of the future. The show incorporates several early examples of jumpsuits including Charles Lindbergh's original flight suit, Levis mechanic coveralls from the 1920s and a WWII "Rosie the Riveter" uniform.

Highlighting the golden age of the jumpsuit -- the late 1960s and early 70s -- the exhibition features an official NASA spacesuit which is believed to have ignited the one-piece fashion craze. Images of astronauts dressed in space suits, coupled with emerging freedoms for women, became inspirations for entertainers and designers alike. Jumpsuits embellished with appliqués, printed patterns and exotic trims became a fashion mainstay. One for All, All for One offers a chance to see amazing garments from this era including designs by Rudi Gernreich, Yves Saint Laurent, Donald Brooks and Norma Kamali.

In 2008, almost a century after first being introduced, one-piece garments are still not widely worn by mainstream consumers, but they continue to be worn by trendsetters around the world. One for All, All for One also incorporates some of the most recent renditions of jumpsuits designs including those by Stella McCartney and Preen from their Spring 2008 collections. Also on display are a number of sports pieces including an authentic NASCAR racing uniform, a skydiving suit worn by the landmark group Freefly Clowns and the new Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit.

"Throughout the 20th century and now as we enter the 21st century, the jumpsuit maintains a fluid elusiveness of purpose and place," commented Dennita Sewell, curator of fashion design, Phoenix Art Museum. "Its one-piece construction and easy-off center front zipper create its useful practicality and sex appeal -- and, its impracticalities. It's this juxtaposition and its wide range of uses that makes the jumpsuit such an important and intriguing subject to explore."

One for All, All for One includes more than 35 examples of jumpsuits, uniting pieces from the Museum's own collection with garments loaned by institutions from around the country. With an array of patterns, fabrics and styles and a myriad of world-renowned pieces, including high-fashion interpretations, the exhibition reflects the jumpsuit's numerous stylistic and functional advancements.

Exhibition Details

This exhibition is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and is presented in the Kelly Ellman Fashion Design Gallery September 6, 2008 through February 1, 2009.

Admission to the exhibition is included in general museum admission, which is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens (65+), $8 for full-time college students with ID, $4 for children ages 6-17 and free for children under 6 and for museum members. Admission is also free on Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and for everyone on First Fridays, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Phoenix Art Museum is located in downtown Phoenix at the corner of Central and McDowell Road.

Museum hours are Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Wednesday - Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by Robert Burg Design. Promotional support is provided by Cox Communications, Clear Channel Phoenix Radio, Westcor Shopping Centers, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix Public Libraries.

About the Fashion Design Collection

Founded in 1966, Phoenix Art Museum's fashion design collection is notable for its quality and comprehensiveness and is comprised of more than 5,000 objects of American and European men's, women's and children's dress and accessories dating from the late 17th century to the present. The Museum organizes three exhibitions a year in the Kelly Ellman Fashion Design Gallery featuring objects from the permanent collection as well as international fashion houses, collectors and museums. Phoenix Art Museum is one of only a handful of art museums in the country with a long and continuous active fashion program.

About Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum is the Southwest's premier destination for world-class visual arts. Popular exhibitions featuring artists such as Rembrandt, Norman Rockwell, Annie Leibowitz and Monet are shown along side the Museum's outstanding collection of more than 17,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. A community epicenter for nearly fifty years, Phoenix Art Museum presents festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs that enlighten, entertain and stimulate. Visitors also enjoy PhxArtKids, an interactive space for children, vibrant photography exhibitions through the Museum's landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, the lushly landscaped Sculpture Garden, dining at Arcadia Farms at Phoenix Art Museum, and shopping at The Museum Store.

To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call the 24-hour recorded information line at (602) 257-1222.