“Walls are being painted, all of the dresses are basically in place,” said André Leon Talley, on the phone from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was putting the finishing touches on the first exhibition in the André Leon Talley Gallery in the school’s new museum of art. The gallery will be one of the central features of the museum, which is reopening on Saturday within the ruins of a 19th-century Greek Revival building that was once home to the Central of Georgia Railway.
Mr. Talley, a longtime contributing editor of Vogue and a board member at the college, has recruited major designers like Miuccia Prada, Tom Ford and Manolo Blahnik to appear there over the years, and now he is helping to build a costume collection that will include many of his own archives and donations from friends. The first exhibition will focus on iconic designs by past recipients of the ALT Lifetime Achievement awards, which the college presents at a fashion show for its graduating class each year.
The exhibit will feature pieces from designers like Zac Posen, Oscar de la Renta, and Diane Von Furstenberg. And just in case your olfactory senses feel left out, Mr. Talley’s got that covered as well: “I want fragrance wafting through the ventilation system. Either Oscar de la Renta’s Live in Love, or Diane von Furstenberg’s Diane.”