questions/answers: Dennita Sewell Volume 38.1 Preview

Dennita Sewell has been Curator of Fashion Design at the Phoenix Art Museum since January 2000. Her latest exhibition, “Fashioned in America,” was inspired by the 2014 documentary Make It in America: Empowering Global Fashion, directed by James Belzer (now available on iTunes). Sewell met Belzer when he screened his 2012 fashion documentary The Tents at the museum, and the exhibition developed in tandem with the film; Sewell even appears on camera. As a special director’s cut played in the background, I talked to Sewell in the museum’s Ellman Fashion Design Gallery, amidst ensembles by designers who produce at least seventy-five percent of their collections in the United States. They range from newcomers like Rosie Assoulin, Misha Nonoo and Daniel Silverstein to established names like Anna Sui, Nanette Lepore, Monique Lhuillier, and Oscar de la Renta.