Meadows Makeover

The outside of the Meadows Museum, usually dark and still on a Thursday night, is illuminated from hanging string bulbs and 16 vanity-style mirrors. Students follow an 18th century European-inspired makeup look at each mirror, decorating their faces with rouge and beauty patches.

The Meadows Museum Student Collective hosted the annual ARTafterDARK: SMU College Night Thursday, September 23, at the Meadows Museum. The event’s programming centered around the museum’s current exhibition: “Canvas & Silk: Historic Fashion from Madrid’s Museo del Traje.”

“I hadn’t been to the Meadows Museum yet – it can be intimidating to go to a museum sometimes; I thought tonight would be a good time because when everyone’s going at once, it’s not so scary,” First-year Meg Castellanos. “I like the work here; fashion is definitely an art medium even though some people don’t think so. You can express yourself way more in your clothes than in ‘actual’ art.”

SMU Look Magazine provided students 18th century makeup tutorials and a photobooth outside of the museum. The outside portion of the event also included a candy bar with JD’s Chippery cookies and Bobadiction.

Students follow vintage makeup tutorials outside of Meadows museum with several small lit-up mirrors.
Students follow vintage makeup tutorials outside of Meadows. Photo credit: Simone Melvin

“I love this year’s theme because I love fashion and Spanish or rustic aristocracy,” senior Belaine Jones said. “It has a very different look than American styles – I like the fancy European look; they have nice things.”

Girl holds up a paper dress she designed for the SMU lookbook challenge.
Senior Belaine Jones shows off her design for the lookback challenge. Photo credit: Simone Melvin

The museum’s first floor offered activities such as creating 16th and 17th century European ruffled collars, bedazzling personal ornamental brooches and designing dream outfits as a part of the lookbook challenge.

Students sit around a table and design outfits they wish people wore to on-campus events.
SMU lookbook challenge has students design outfits they wish people wore to on-campus events. Photo credit: Simone Melvin

“I made this layered skirt with like a little off-the-shoulder top out of these flower-patterned papers for a graduation ceremony outfit,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t actually wear this to my graduation if I made it, though.”

Upstairs, students constructed pinback buttons inspired by the museum’s collection and embroidered greeting cards with local embroidery artist Erin Frisch.

Local artist Erin Frisch stands above a table of students and instructs them on card embroidery craft.
Local artist Erin Frisch instructs students on card embroidery craft Photo credit: Simone Melvin

“I was so excited to work at this event; it’s fun to work on a project where you know a lot of people are going to show up because it has to be very approachable, kind of introduction to embroidery,” Frisch said. “Embroidery on paper is a really good way to go when you know you’re going to have a large crowd: people need to pick it up quickly. The card also gives attendees something people can mail or keep as a little remembrance from the night and the exhibition.”

The “Canvas & Silk” exhibit brought periodic clothes, textiles and accessories from Madrid and opened for free for student viewership. SMU students Della McDougal, Sophia Salinas and UNT student Evan Blackwell gave gallery talks throughout the night on the works of art.

“I prefer the fashion exhibit to traditional paintings and sculptures,” junior Natalie Genato said. “It’s easier to understand the historical significance through this kind of art.”