Designs on fashion

Designs on fashion

Clarissa Esguerra

Photo by: Special

As a curatorial assistant for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Clarissa Esguerra (MS ’05) spent the last three years putting together “Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915,” an exhibit on display at the museum through March 27.

For Esguerra, who earned her master’s degree in textile, merchandising and interiors, the job was a dream come true. Interested in fashion design since childhood, Esguerra got her bachelor’s degree in fashion design from Brenau College in Gainesville.

In preparing for the exhibit, Esguerra cataloged each of more than 1,000 items donated to the museum. She measured each piece, estimating when and where it was made and examined it from front to back, making notes about its condition, any labels and the textiles used. Once she gleaned all the information from the clothing, she turned to a variety of resources to confirm when the piece was made and search for any additional information about it.

“I love envisioning what a dressmaker, tailor or fashion designer was thinking,” Esguerra says. “While the designer tries to capture the images of people and understand what they will want to wear, I try to reverse that role by trying to understand the designer.”

To view pieces from the exhibit, go to