The Curiosity of Couture Fashion in Detroit Culture


Detroit: Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit (MM-O-DD) presents an exhibition COUTURE 313 during November 2020 thru January 2021.


The culture of couture fashion is referred to as Haute Couture, which is French for “High-Sewing”. Historically, exclusive custom-fitted clothing or accessories were constructed by hand from start to finish. Traditionally, materials were high-quality, expensive fabric was sewn with ridged attention to detail and finished by experienced sewers producing time-consuming techniques. Detroit was a hub for these talents of yesteryear.


Detroit’s history of couture fashion has a curious beginning. For years a gold-standard was set by

high society. Everyday folk saw couture on entertainers. The City of Detroit had Motown magic which spurred on-stage fashion. It was couture fashion at its finest. If someone did not remember who sang a song, they would remember what was worn.


A rarely shared Detroit story; people would hand-sew their own clothing for affordability. The reality; couture fashion was made in Detroit households. Current conversations of couture continue authentic messaging defining a newer set of High Standards.


The COUTURE 313 exhibition features these standards with established designers and artists. The designers are Aki Choklat, Boswell Hardwick, Donovan Dewberry, Eric Beamon, Tina Tomicic and Tom Carbone. Joining in are internationally acclaimed artists Artis Lane and Steve Tobin. Pairing the designers and artists together demonstrate the curious cross-over of Couture Fashion and Art which is woven into the fabric of Detroit culture.


The well-appointed talents are Aki Choklat a renowned shoe designer and educator from Europe to Detroit. Boswell Hardwick a Millinery designer and fine-art photographer, who shows in Paris and finer boutiques world-wide. Donovan Dewberry a high-fashion atelier recently high-lighted in Vogue. Eric Beamon a costume jewelry designer who creates exquisite embellishments. Tina Tomicic a handbag designer with unprecedented craftsmanship. Tom Carbone, a shoe designer who masterfully engineers each pair. The artists are Artis Lane, a Black Canadian sculptor and painter. The first African American woman with work in the Capitol in Washington D.C. Steve Tobin, an American sculptor recognized globally for monumental works, has created a collection of over 60 cast bronze shoes.


MM-O-DD is housed within Collected Detroit, a premier Art Gallery at 2439 Fourth Street. MM-O-DD engages the community to provide educational enrichment and experiential opportunities.

Details at




Leslie Ann Pilling 

248 763-8581

[email protected]