Friday, August 29, 2008

Silk: A Class Act on Main Street - Democracy & Dress in America

We were delighted to be able to view a wonderful exhibit on fashion at Historic Northampton, in Northampton, MA. The exhibit, of 18th and 19th century fashions was curated by costume historian, and author, Nancy Rexford. Rexford is author of detailed books on antique shoes and antique clothing, and wrote the forward to one of our favorite books, "Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900," by Joan Severa. The book contains many of the rare and unusual daggeurotypes from the H-N collection.

Back to the exhibit...our hearts skipped a beat as we saw a pink 1840's two piece ballgown with gold and pink fringe and an exquisite 19th century silk wedding gown replete with wax orange blossoms. The exhibit explored "democracy and dress in America", focusing on class differences as seen in early silk textiles. The exhibit was was artfully arranged and the gallery notes were wonderfully written, with many facts and details.

If you have a chance, you must visit! We guarantee you'll fall in love with the pink gown too!

“O, this life

Is nobler than attending for a check,

Richer than doing nothing for a bribe,

Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk.”

William Shakespeare

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