Exploring Connecticut’s Haute Fashion History

By Jenny Steadman, Adult Programs Manager, CHS

This fabulous “flapper” dress from the 1920s has a snake decoration made of hand-stitched glass beads that winds around the dress. Come see it in person in our pop-up exhibit!

This fabulous “flapper” dress from the 1920s has a snake decoration made of hand-stitched glass beads that winds around the dress. Come see it in person in our pop-up exhibit!

The costume and textile storage on the CHS’s third floor is my favorite space in the Connecticut Historical Society museum. Every time I go up there, I get a shiver down my spine thinking of all the stories that go with all the dresses and uniforms and even hats tucked up there for safe keeping.

One of my favorite parts of my job is leading Behind-the-Scenes tours that take visitors to the third floor and share some of our costumes with them—it is my chance to always be learning and discovering something new about our collections and our past. I want to share this experience with as many people as I can, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing on Saturday, May 9th with Haute History: A Vintage-Inspired Fashion Show.

Celebrity emcee for the “Haute History – A Vintage Inspired Fashion Show” is Judy Goss, TV personality; news correspondent, lifestyle expert and host of the radio show What Women Want on L.A. Talk Radio. Her organization, Over 40 Females®, a live and online networking community that connects, engages and inspires women over the age of 40, is a sponsor of the event.

Celebrity emcee for the “Haute History – A Vintage Inspired Fashion Show” is Judy Goss, TV personality; news correspondent, lifestyle expert and host of the radio show What Women Want on L.A. Talk Radio. Her organization, Over 40 Females®, a live and online networking community that connects, engages and inspires women over the age of 40, is a sponsor of the event.

The special event will tie old and new together with a runway fashion show with up-to-the-minute styles presented by Simon’s Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets (including designers DKNY, Banana Republic, Gap Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, and more) and a pop-up exhibit of highlights from our CHS costume collection that show styles from 1862 up to 1965.

As different as the looks are, stories tie all the decades of women’s fashion together—we’ve got wedding dresses, a mother-of-the-bride ensemble, a bridesmaid’s dress (sensing a theme here?), and some very elegant evening dresses. Some of the fashions may even remind you of dresses you or maybe your mom or grandmother wore—which makes it a perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend.

Bring your mom along to compare hemlines and wonder why hats and gloves went out of style—and then plan your trip to Clinton Crossing to refresh your spring wardrobe!

Here are all the details:

When: Saturday, May 9 @ 11:00 am (Pop-Up exhibit 9:00 am to 3:00 pm)

Where: Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth Street, Hartford (free parking!)

Tickets are available online, $20 for CHS and Let’s Go Arts Members, $25 for non-members, refreshments included

Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Thank you to our sponsors: Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign, Simon’s Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, and Over 40 Females.

Questions? Contact Jenny Steadman, Adult Programs Manager, at (860) 236-5621 x289 or jennifer_steadman@chs.org.

Jenny Steadman is the Adult Programs Manager of the Connecticut Historical Society, and has been in that position since 2012. She holds her Ph.D. in women’s history and literature from Emory University and has taught at Emory University, Trinity College, and most recently at the President’s College of the University of Hartford. She published Traveling Economies: American Women’s Travel Writing with Ohio State University Press in 2007. Stories of women’s travel, adventure, and accomplishment inspire her and sharing those stories is a life-long passion.

 

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