Dresses on Display

March 13th, 2013

In a shameless plug for the South County Historical Society, where I volunteer as curator of textiles, here’s a peak at the dresses currently on display. If you’re in the Central Coast area, why not drop by and see them in person? Hurry, because we’re about to change the exhibit in the next month or so. They’re in the back room at Heritage House, in old Arroyo Grande Village. The museums are open Saturday & Sunday afternoons, and admission is free!

Working backwards, there’s a stunning (in more ways than one!) gown from the 1980s, made by a local seamstress…

Dress on Display

An adorable gold cocktail confection from the 1960s…

Dress on Display

A slinky black evening number with silver beading from the 1940s…

Dress on Display

And my favorite — a stunning black silk frock with metallic braiding from the 1920s. I’m particularly proud of the gently shaped arm supports I constructed out of wire, polyfil, and stockinette. I also had to contrive an interior skirt support from the waistband to the mannequin’s shoulders to preserve the bloused effect and prevent the heavy hem from damaging the relatively delicate bodice lining.

Dress on Display

Don’t you just love the coordinating hat boxes and fern too? Those are courtesy of Joe, designer in residence at the SCHS.

*I don’t usually post about my work at the Historical Society, since most of it is rather repetitive (unless you really, really like brushing textiles), and conflicts of interest abound when it comes to sharing pictures of the objects on the internet. But since these dresses are already on public display, and I really want you to go visit them, I figured it would be okay to make an exception!

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