Edecán Dress and Cape from the XIX Olympics

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Edecán Dress and Cape from the XIX Olympics

1968
Costumes
a) Dress: polyester knit b) Cape: polyester/wool knit
a) Dress center back length: 32 in. (81.28 cm) b) Cape center back length: 24 in. (60.96 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by the Bernard and Edith Lewin Collection of Mexican Art Deaccession Fund (M.2014.72a-b)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

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The 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City were a watershed moment in the history of Mexican design. The event marked the first time the Olympics were held in a Spanish-speaking nation and offered Mexico a unique opportunity to present itself as a modern country steeped in rich cultural tradition. Architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, president of the Organizing Committee, promoted the creation of a unique graphic identity and easily legible visual program, which is epitomized by Lance Wyman’s instantly iconic Mexico ’68 logotype. The designer incorporated two of the five Olympic rings into the numbers "6" and "8" and developed a font characterized by rounded figures comprised of concentric lines. True to the mission of the Organizing Committee, Wyman drew both on the tradition of Huichol embroidery and contemporaneous Op art to create the logotype.

Wyman’s logotype appeared in many forms throughout the Mexico ’68 visual program, including on this edecán (hostess) dress designed by Julia Johnson-Marshall (later Julia Murdoch). The dress was worn over a white shirt with the option of adding the cape. The uniforms were color coded—here, the black signifies that the wearer worked for the National Olympics Committee, as opposed to the rosa mexicano (Mexico’s emblematic hot pink) worn by the pages of the International Olympics Committee. The Mexico ‘68 logotype is turned vertically and placed at the center of the dress, running from nearly the neckline to the hem. It then expands into a series of evenly spaced lines, creating an all-encompassing pattern with the logo at its core.


JoAnna Reyes Walton, Research Assistant, Rachel Kaplan, Wallis Annenberg Curatorial Fellow, Latin American Art, 2017
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Bibliography

  • Kaplan, Wendy, ed. Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915-1985. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Munich: DelMonico Books-Prestel, 2017.