September 13, 2023

Textiles exhibition explores intersections of fashion, fandom

“A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance” is on display through November 3.

“A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance” is on display through Nov. 3.

The latest exhibition at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus examines the intersections of fashion and fandom through the beloved American classic, “Star Wars.”

The exhibition, “A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance,” is on display through Nov. 3.

Adria Sanchez-Chaidez created the exhibition for her master’s thesis. Sanchez-Chaidez earned her master’s degree in textiles, merchandising and fashion design with a specialization in apparel design, material culture and textile studies. A self-professed geek-girl and scholar of fashion, she knows the challenges women have to navigate in spaces that were once more distinctly masculine.

“Too often we resign ourselves to not caring about things because we don’t want to look a certain way,” Sanchez-Chaidez said. “But there’s also a certain power in reclaiming those things that have been shamed out of you.”

Adria Sanchez-Chaidez
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing
Adria Sanchez-Chaidez

Using crowdsourced inspiration to design from a female fan perspective for this project, Sanchez-Chaidez uses fashion to explore and challenge prevailing narratives around the geek identity and encourages viewers to more critically consider what it means to be a geek and what a geek or, more specifically, a “Star Wars” fan can look like.

The Robert Hillestad Gallery is part of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences. It is located on the second floor of the Gwendolyn A. Newkirk Human Sciences Building, and is open to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

See more of Sanchez-Chaidez’s work.