University of Louisville Student, James Coomer, stands in front of his creation.
What kind of Kentucky Derby fashion accessory can you create with a cigar box, a vintage hat and $40? That was the challenge faced by six University of Louisville students who have loaned their creations to the Kentucky Derby Museum for a special exhibit that will run from April 23 through July 30.
The “Project Derby” exhibit features works by costume shop students in the university’s Department of Theatre Arts.
Designed for imaginary clients that included a rock star, infield fan, high stakes gambler, millionaire’s row lady and horse trainer’s wife, the student designs were part of a class project that is done annually, according to Melissa Shepherd, who is the costume shop manager for the department.
“Each year we have a Project Runway design competition with the students,” Shepherd said. “This year, six students created an original hat and matching purse with a $40 budget limit to reflect the persona of their imaginary clients.”
Described as “Elegant. Wild! Eccentric. Fun!” on the museum website, the student designs attempted to capture the tradition and fun of the Kentucky Derby.
Admission to the museum, which includes the exhibit, is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors age 55 and over, $11 for young adults ages 13-18, $6 for children ages 5-12, free for children age five and under. UofL faculty, staff and students with ID receive a two-for-one ticket discount from April 23 to May 23 with the exception of Oaks and Derby days during Derby week. The museum is at 704 Central Ave.