Read our COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Patrick Kelly: Fashion, Life, and Legacy / Opening Day Panel

This event is expired.

Photograph by Oliviero Toscani. Courtesy of the Estate of Patrick Kelly. Scan by Randy Dodson / Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Missed the opening day panel about fashion designer Patrick Kelly (1954–1990)?

Watch the recording on YouTube

About the Speakers

Bjorn G. Amelan was Patrick Kelly's life and business partner from 1983 until Kelly’s death on January 1, 1990. In 1993, Amelan moved to New York to begin his personal and professional relationship with director/choreographer Bill T. Jones whom he married in 2014. He has designed sets for numerous works of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and is the recipient of a 2001 Bessie Award for work on The Breathing Show and The Table Project. In 2011, Amelan helped Jones found New York Live Arts, an experimental body-based art center home to the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. He is New York Live Arts’ creative director. Amelan’s sculpture exhibition, Memory of a Stone (2007), was shown in Santa Fe at Dwight Hackett Projects. His paintings were exhibited at Gerald Peters Contemporary in 2018 and are currently on view at New York Live Arts’ Ford Gallery. 

Dilys E. Blum is the Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and has been at the museum since 1987. She has organized more than forty exhibitions, from Black quilts to haute couture including the landmark Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli (2003) and most recently Off the Wall: American Art to Wear (2019). In 2014, she organized the original Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Blum has written extensively on textiles, historic costume, and fashion. She completed graduate studies at the University of Manchester and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Laura L. Camerlengo is associate curator of costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Since 2010, she has curated or co-curated costume and textiles exhibitions for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She most recently co-curated the critically acclaimed exhibition Contemporary Muslim Fashions (2018). She is the author of The Miser’s Purse (2013) as well as a contributor to Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade (2017) and Contemporary Muslim Fashions (2018). She holds a master of arts in the history of decorative arts and design from Parsons School of Design.

About the Exhibition

Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love celebrates the meteoric rise and enduring legacy of Patrick Kelly. During his brief, yet impactful, career in the late 1980s, Kelly became the first American and first Black designer to be voted into the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode, the prestigious French association for ready-to-wear designers. Kelly was lauded with such accolades while being and remaining, one of only a few designers who directly addressed issues of race in their work. Kelly was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi. His grandmother, a cook and maid, fostered a love of fashion by bringing him fashion magazines from the family for whom she worked. Kelly briefly studied art and history before moving to Paris in late 1979. Kelly’s career was cut short by complications related to AIDS in 1990. The epitaph on his headstone in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is emblematic of the designer and his legacy: “Nothing Is Impossible.”

Ticket Information

No registration is required. This is a free online event. 

Don’t miss our upcoming programs! Sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Contact Information

Public Programs
(415) 750-7624