The George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Art Gallery was filled with the clickety-clack of dress shoes on hardwood and a sea of music flowing from a live violinist.
Models wore some of the finest apparel from the collection of the late Margot L. Shott during a live fashion show in her honor Friday at the South City Campus. Shott was the original curator of the Salt Lake Community College Historic Fashion Collection.
“It’s a lovely tribute [to Shott],” says former fashion student Mary Paul. “It’s fun to see progressive uses of different elements, such as long versus short fringe [on dresses].”
Dancers from Ballet West, where Shott was a board member, joined close friends and associates of Shott to wear her outfits for the show. The live exhibit featured items such as a green, floor-length Oleg Cassini coat and her apricot-colored chiffon wedding dress.
“[The exhibit] is stunning,” says fashion show attendee Alberta Elstein.
A crowd favorite was the 1930’s costume worn by model Cassandra Leyda.
The silver gown is adorned with long fringe, which is unique since fringe is typically associated with short, flapper style dresses.
“She wore it to a gala for the Museum of Fine Arts,” says Myrna Fischer, a close friend of Shott. “It was retro for a gala, but that’s how we were supposed to dress.”
It didn’t take long for Shott to add the exquisite piece to her collection.
“[The dress] was found in the basement of the Pioneer Theater,” Leyda says. “Margot rented this dress twice and loved it so much she ended up buying it.”
According to Jeanne Potucek, who also served on the Ballet West board of directors, Shott worked for Catalina Swimwear in California and was greatly immersed in fashion culture early on in her life.
“She was able to combine all of the arts,” Potucek says.
On her passing, Shott willed her upscale wardrobe to the SLCC Fashion Institute.
The still exhibit consisted of rows of dresses ranging from the late 1800s to present day.
A timeless 1950s black Christian Dior evening gown was arranged gracefully upon a dress form. The piece has been said to have moved Givenchy to create the “little black dress” worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1963 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Paul, who went to SLCC in 2006, says the educational benefits of having access to a collection like this are substantial.
“You get a sense of it from a book, [but with a fashion show] you get to experience it in 3D,” Paul says.
While the live show was only a one night event, The Margot L. Shott Historic Fashion Collection is on display at the South City Campus in the George S. & Dolores Dore Eccles Art Gallery.
The exhibit is open to the public through Nov. 11. Hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. Admission is free.