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Uncommon Threads Fashion & Footwear March 2 & 3







March 2 & 3, 2017

Special Guest: Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum
Honorary Chair: Rita Moreno

Since 2004, Uncommon Threads has presented internationally recognized curators, scholars and experts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Thanks to the generosity of the late Ruth Funk - artist, lifelong art educator and local patron of the arts - the Uncommon Threads symposia and the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts are vibrant cultural additions to our Central Florida community.  more info

Thursday, March 2, 7:00 p.m.,

“Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture”

Gleason Performing Arts Center
Free Admission

How did sneakers transform from sports footwear to staples of street fashion central to expressions of masculinity? This talk explores the fascinating history of the sneaker from the nineteenth century to the present and considers the cultural impact of sneakers in America.

Friday, March 3, 10:30 a.m.,

“To the Point: The Short History of the High Heel”

Luncheon Symposium
Honorary Chair: Rita Moreno
Denius Student Center, Hartley Room
Tickets: $75

Today the high heel is an icon of femininity but how did it come to be such a powerful signifier?  This talk will trace the history of the high heel from its origins as an equestrian tool in Western Asia to its centrality in expressions of gender today.

After a fascinating lecture on the history of the high heel, guests will enjoy a champagne reception, three-course luncheon, and a showcase of the Funk Center’s museum shop.


Elizabeth Semmelhack,
Senior Curator, Bata Shoe Museum

Recently named by Fashion magazine as one of the world’s top five game-changing fashion curators, Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum, focuses on the construction of gender in relation to dress with a particular interest in the history of footwear. Most recently she has curated Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels (2015) and the blockbuster travelling exhibition The Rise of Sneaker Culture travelling under the auspices of the American Federation of the Arts.

Semmelhack has been featured in articles and interviews in New York Times, Vogue, Elle, InStyle, W Magazine, Forbes Magazine, The New Yorker Magazine, GQ Magazine, and many others. She has also published a number of books, catalogs and academic articles including: Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels (2015), Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture (2015), Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century; and Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Shoe (2008). Her forthcoming book Shoes: The Meaning of Style with Reaktion Press will be released in Fall 2017.


Terri Wright has held the position of General Manager at WFIT since 1998.