Friday, April 5, 2013

The Gowns of Goodwood

Gowns of Goodwood
The Art of Dressing
Fashions from 1830-1930
Julia Stevens Croom (born 1815), sister-in-law of the first
family of Goodwood, Bryan & Eveline Croom.
Goodwood Museum & Gardens is fortunate to be the repository of over 150 years of fashionable gowns.  From 1837 to 1990, five families have lived at Goodwood and their gowns are represented in this exhibition.  The exhibition traces fashion styles that span important eras in American History:  the Romantic Era, the Civil War Era, the Gilded Age, the Edwardian Era, the Civil War Era, the Gilded Age, the Edwardian Era, the Great War Period, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression Era.  

Like all art, fashion represents time and place.  The social and political changes in our country's past are reflected in the evolution of the gowns and accessories shown in the exhibition.  The viewer will note that fashion styles changed radically over these 100 years.

In the late 19th century, industrialization brought profound changes to the fashion industry.  Mass production of garments became the norm and department stores sprang up across America, giving access to lower-priced garments for ladies.

As you view the exhibit, note the influence of industrialization on style and design.  Buttons are replaced by zippers; cotton and silk are replaced by rayon.  Designers fashioned free flowing unencumbered gowns, freeing ladies of corsets and hoop skirts.  

Additional Resources:
Vintage Fashion Guild's "Fashion Time Line" from 1810-1970
Glamour Daze's Short History of Women's Fashion--1900 to 1969
American Textile History Museum
Chicago History Museum:  Costumes & Textiles

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