Sunday, February 5, 2012

Garment Display

Catching up on some posts here--internet reception (and TV reception, and the phone reception) has been a little iffy for a couple of weeks.  Finally gave up hoping it would all heal itself and had the cable guy come out--turns out that squirrels like to chew on the cables.

In mid-January the Florida Retailers Federation had their 75th anniversary.  There were conferences and meetings and a reception/dinner party at the Governor's club.  We put on a display for the reception--as it was a 75th anniversary, I picked out clothing that was about 75 years old--the glamorous 30's.

For a simple display, it took awhile.  First I had to dig through the collection and find a half-dozen garments that still looked good--no stains or obvious tears.  Then I had to "audition" my various dress forms to find ones that fit.  Finally everything was boxed up, the dress forms labeled, and all hauled off to the Governor's club.

I know about historic clothing, but making things look nice is not my forte.  Because the clothes are somewhat fragile, you have to put the dress forms in place and then put the clothes on--no moving them around after they're dressed.  Fortunately one of the graduate students was helping me (thanks, Caitlin!) and with only my verbal description of the garments came up with a pleasing arrangement.  You have to use your imagination. (She also took the pictures with her phone because I forgot to bring a camera)

75-year old zippers sometimes don't work, so I had to do a little pinning.  Again--my job has brought me to my knees!

The finished display looked quite nice.  More of the graduate students "defended" the display (it's hard to resist touch the garments, and I cringed at every glass of red wine that approached) and talked about them.  All in all, it was a very successful display--which then had to be undressed, repacked, and all hauled back to the collection room (again--with my thanks to the graduate students, and to Ann Langston, who hauled down the dress form with me and got the back to the collection room the next morning)

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