19th century, exhibitions, travel

Exhibition Review

I’ve been having annoying server problems that wouldn’t let me FTP to my site, so sorry about the long silence!

Last weekend I went to a conference in Boston, which provided a fabulous opportunity to go see the High Style and Hoopskirts: 1850s Fashion exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts. I met up with Jenni of Historically Dressed and we had a great time drooling over the gorgeous gowns and accessories.

The exhibit was small by most museum standards, although large by MFA standards — about 10 dresses and various accessories (hats, gloves, jewelry, etc.). Some of the hats were really gorgeous — like this taupe bonnet and some great indoor caps. This indoor cap really caught my eye, mostly because of the stripey ribbon, but also because we could wrap our brains around how it was put together (unfortunately, it’s hard to tell from the angle they photographed it). There were also some nice evening headdresses, something that modern costumers hardly ever do — inspired me to try to put something similar together the next time I do 1840s-60s evening.

Side note: this dance card was impossibly wee and very beautiful.

But on to the dresses! There were two that really struck me (well, there was a third beautiful white evening dress, but I can’t find a picture online). When you first walk in you are confronted with this purple beauty. Most interesting to me was the fact that the trim (the sleeve ruffles and the fringe on the center front of the skirt) really seemed to echo a robe a la francaise. This green plaid evening gown was also really striking; both because I like green, and because it has a tiny pink stripe going through it, which they carefully levelled the skirt around so that the tiny pink stripe was at the very bottom of the hem (you can barely see this using the interactive zoom; the pink pops much more in person).

So overall, thumbs up! If you happen to be the area, definitely go see it, but it’s small enough that I wouldn’t travel excessively far just to see it.

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