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The Bowne House Presents:


THE SECRET LIVES OF DRESSES
Collection Highlights from the Bowne House Historical Society

An exhibition by Claire McCree, Jenny Ma, and Kelsey Brow
Coordinator: Anne Perl de Pal, Board of Trustees Advisor: Rosemary Vietor
December 5, 2014 – January 5, 2015

The Secret Lives of Dresses invites you to take a close look at the history of fashion. Thirty close-up photographs offer the rare opportunity to peek at the clothing’s seams and lining and examine the fine decorative details.  These intimate details convey the significance these historic garments had for their original wearers. If clothes could talk, what secrets would they have to tell?

The Secret Lives Of Dresses

They say “clothes make the man.” They way clothes are made certainly influences the way we look, feel, walk, sit down, or how we are able to move our arms. Notice how the back of the 1830s dress is cut very narrowly. This makes the wearer hold her shoulders back and keeps her posture upright. Other clothes fit properly only with the right undergarments. Come take a peek at a set of stays from the 1730s that mold the body into a very specific shape using special materials and meticulously sewn pieces.