2016-03-01 15.46.11

Last March as a tie-in to our Up Cloche exhibit we put on an event called Dress Like a Flapper.  We used instructions created by Mary Brooks Picken, Director of Instruction at the the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Science, to make a dress in under one hour in front of a live audience.  The event […]

This week brings interesting news articles about “fast fashion” clothing and its impact on the environment. The first explores the relationship between fast fashion, higher consumption of clothing, use of synthetics and chemicals, and the reliance of manufacturers on charitable organizations for recycling clothing: Alden Wicker, “No one wants your old clothes,” MSN Money, September […]

2016-08-03 11.49.24

The Up Cloche exhibition has been up since January and, in addition to many amazing hats, contains a few dresses from our collection. Recently, we became concerned about the condition of one. The dress is heavily decorated with beads and rhinestones, all on a base of 100-year-old silk charmeuse. Originally, the exhibition was supposed to […]

2016-06-10 10.53.36

The garments in our collection range from the early 19th up through the 20th century.  The majority of the earlier pieces have no label or any other written information on them.  So, having spent most of my time recently with garments from 1900 or earlier, this 1936 dress and jacket outfit felt downright chatty to me. Our records indicated […]


Great news everyone!  Up Cloche has been extended through October 31st 2016! More information on the exhibit and related events can be found on the MSU Museum website here.

2016-05-16 11.35.43

Fashion collections tend to have a disproportionately high number of garments intended for parties or other formal events.  We all love to swoon over a luxurious velvet or silk garment.  Everyday items also are less likely to survive, since in many cases they would have been worn until they were no longer wearable. This dress, […]

2016-06-06 11.41.31-2

The Condition Survey is a big project, but it gets done one item at a time.  Each item gets graded on a scale from A-F based only on the condition of the garment.  As much as possible, I try to avoid letting historical or aesthetic value into the grade.  Later, once we have a clear […]