JAY JAXON: 40 Years Of Fashion Design Brilliance | Past, Present, Future
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Opening February 8, 2020
On View Until December 2020
The Jay Jaxon exhibition celebrates the life of Queens native, Jay Jaxon as an American Fashion Designer, Haute Couture Designer, and Costume Designer. Further, it restores the history of Jaxon by displaying artifacts and objects from his personal design archives as well as primary sources from the research of fashion scholar and guest curator Rachel Fenderson.
Jay Jaxon Biography
Jay Jason Jaxon was born on August 30, 1941, in Queens, New York. Jaxon would grow up to become a fashion designer, making historical imprints on the concrete streets of New York City, as well as the cobblestoned roads of Paris, and on the Hollywood walk of fame in Los Angeles. Jaxon is the youngest of four, born to Ethel Rena-Jackson and Sidney Jackson. Jaxon established a brand heralding his newly recommended and officially changed name of “Jay Jason Jaxon”, prior to his leave for Paris in 1968. When Jay Jaxon moved to France, the beginning of his career in Paris would commence a few months prior to the assassination of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in America as well as the May 1968 massive student-led protest in Paris.
Jaxon gained a wealth of design knowledge by working for these couture Maisons: Jean-Louis Scherrer, Yves Saint Laurent, and Marc Bohan for Christian Dior as an Assistant Designer. In the mid-70s, Jaxon returned to New York City and once again created his own collections, while designing for Pierre Cardin, Jay Jaxon for Benson & Partners, Jou-Jou, Jay Jaxon for Muney, John Kloss, and Jay Jaxon for The New Pliers. Next, Jaxon moved out to California at the persuasion of his “play cousin” Lester Wilson, the renowned choreographer. While in Los Angeles, Jaxon designed for Jill Richards, created theatrical costumes for celebrities such as Thelma Houston, Diahann Carroll, Sammy Davis Jr., and Luther Vandross. For television shows, he designed costumes for The Division, Angel, Ally McBeal, and Sabrina: The Teenage Witch. In film, Jaxon created costumes on behalf of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Men’s Club, and in stage for: Ailey Celebrates Ellington and The Colors of Christmas.
About the Guest Curator Rachel Fenderson
Rachel Fenderson was born and raised in Queens, New York, to Jamaican parents. During her youth, she worked hard as a student all the while being drawn to fabrics, design, and creation. In 2002, Fenderson pursued a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Hofstra University. Next, Fenderson attended Parsons The New School for Design and completed a Fashion Studies, Applied Associates Science degree of Fashion Design in 2008. On January 1, 2011, Rachel Fenderson and her sister Marsha Fenderson, founded a womenswear company monikered: Pepper Jacques.
By 2016, Fenderson furthered her education at Parsons Paris: The New School for Design in Paris, France. In May 2018, Fenderson completed her Master’s thesis JAY JAXON: A Biographical Study and Media Discourse Analysis Reinstating A Designer Into Fashion History. Pursuing this degree gave her the opportunity to write the first biographical thesis study on the designer Jay Jaxon.
Fenderson displayed her first exhibition on Jaxon at the Mona Bismarck American Center in Paris (2018). At the Queens Public Library in Queens, New York, Fenderson brought her exhibition on Jay Jaxon to the United States for the month of August 2019.
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Jay Jaxon’s historical Couturier role, Fenderson will exhibit his work at the Queens Historical Society from February 2020 – December 2020.
Jay Jaxon, photographed at the Maison of Jean-Louis Scherrer’s design salon, to advertise the release of his 1970 Spring/ Summer, Haute Couture & Prêt-à-Porter collections, 1969 / 1970. Photographer Unknown, Editorial Image, 1969 / 1970, Keystone Press Agency, Ltd., Jay Jaxon’s Portfolio, Bequest of Lloyd Hardy, Rachel Fenderson Collection, 2017.
Venue: Kingsland Homestead - Queens Historical Society
143-35 37th Avenue
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