Patrick Kelly

A look from fall 1986. Photograph courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

As an 18-year-old living in Atlanta, Patrick Kelly sold reworked thrift shop clothes to pay the rent and dressed windows—for free—at the local Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche boutique. Less than two decades later, in 1988, he became the first African-American designer inducted into the French ready-to-wear governing body, the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode. Beginning April 27 (through November 30), Kelly’s exuberant but short-lived career (he died of AIDS in 1990) will be the subject of “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love,” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.