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Vegas Style’ shows our Valley was once pretty chic

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Las Vegas News Bureau

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Vegas Style
Friday-Monday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $5-$19.
Nevada State Museum, Springs Preserve, 486-5205.

Long before fanny packs, white sneakers, tube dresses and oversized button-up shirts, Las Vegas was known for its stylishly elegant and even sophisticated dress—be it ’60s chic or Western cowboy cool.

We’ve heard plenty about the mink stoles, pearl necklaces, fitted suits and cocktail dresses, but now the Nevada State Museum offers a more direct fashion experience with its Vegas Style exhibit. The collaboration between the museum and UNLV history students includes attire worn by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Liz Renay and Gypsy Rose Lee, along with the most stunning vintage Helldorado outfits imaginable.

The thrust of the exhibit is the combo of the clothes with the stories behind them: Fanny’s Dress Shop opening in a tent in 1931 and servicing women from Block 16 to high society; tidbits of film star Rex Bell’s history here; Davis Jr.’s experience during the Valley’s segregated past. Adding to that are images provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau. Though not intended as a comprehensive survey, Vegas Style opens the door on rich local history through a sampling of fabulous get-ups, worn onstage and off.

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