BISMARCK — “Fashion & Function: North Dakota Style,” the first major exhibition of the State Historical Society’s clothing collection, opens today at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck.

Featuring more than 450 garments and accessories, the exhibition, created by the State Historical Society, explores the role clothing has played, and continues to play, in the region.

“We are showcasing the everyday fashions of North Dakotans shaped by elements including weather, career choices, cultural traditions, available resources, and pop culture,” said David Newell, exhibitions manager.

Contemporary pieces by North Dakota designers, Indigenous garments, dresses worn by the state’s first ladies, a suit from Gov. Doug Burgum, wedding attire, ranch wear, a cleanroom suit, sports jerseys, and personal protective equipment for healthcare workers are among the featured pieces.

The breadth of the exhibition spans from an 1861 Icelandic wedding dress to a beautiful gown worn at the 2019 Grammy Awards created by designer Norma Baker-Flying Horse of Mandaree.

Entering the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to see Miss America 2018 Cara Mund’s coronation gown and sash. Mund’s gown is among the 30 loans included in the exhibition.

“Fashion & Function: North Dakota Style” is free to the public and on view through November 2022.

“We understand that people have varying levels of comfort about visiting a museum during the pandemic,” said Kim Jondahl, Audience Engagement & Museum Division director. “Our team will also be bringing this exciting exhibition to people in their homes through special online tours, videos, and interviews.”

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