Long before Queen Victoria inspired a television series, she inspired what women in Connecticut considered fashionable. Over the 60 years of her reign, silhouettes for women’s dresses would change remarkably and choice examples from our CHS costume collection will illustrate the dramatic shift in women’s fashion over the last half of the Nineteenth Century. What middle- and upper-class women wore often connected to other Victorian era ideas, from the symbolism read into flowers to the elaborate rituals of mourning, and women’s participation in sports and leisure.
To bring our conversation into the Twenty-first Century, renowned costume and textile historian Lynne Z. Bassett will present “Reigning Fashion: Victoria and the Queen, 1837 – 1901” on Thursday, September 14 @ 5:30-7:00 pm. Her talk will focus on the costumes used in the first season of the PBS drama Victoria, tracing the role of the Queen as a fashion leader and assessing the historical accuracy of the costumes worn in the popular series.