The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will host a conference on Victorian fashion

NORWALK, CT — The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will host a conference centered on Victorian clothing and fashion on October 2 at 2 p.m.

The talk, titled “Victorian Fashion, Dangerous Dyes, and Murderous Millinery,” will be moderated by Deborah Kraak, a freelance museum professional specializing in historic textiles, costume, and interiors.

Attendees can book tickets on the museum’s events page website. Admission for members is $10 and $15 for non-members. Light refreshments and a tour of the mansion will be offered following the presentation.

Whether it’s the lavish Victorian attire we love to watch in period dramas or the portraits on museum walls, what we see is a carefully presented picture of perfection, but there are always stories.” behind the scenes” on what made this illusion. possible. This talk reveals some of them, from the prosaic to the tragic, according to the museum.

According to the museum, being beautiful can be as simple as mending and creatively altering clothes, practices that have become popular today, but it can also be as dangerous as wearing dresses dyed in such toxic colors. how beautiful.

The mania for using feathers or whole birds to decorate hats and bonnets nearly wiped out some species before the feather trade was effectively eliminated, thanks in large part to the efforts of two Boston socialites. The fur trade laid the foundation for the Astor family’s incredible fortunes, securing Caroline Astor’s leadership of members of New York’s “old money” society in the Gilded Age, according to the museum.

Complementing the “Making It Last: Sustainable Fashion in Victorian America” ​​exhibit, this talk explores the exhibit’s themes in more detail, through vintage clothing, fashion prints, satirical cartoons, photographs and portraits, as well as Victorian clothing depicted in film and television. , according to the museum.

Kraak is a former Curator of Textiles at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library and Assistant Curator of Textiles and Costume at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is also a consultant to museums, fabric companies and private collectors.

She is an adjunct professor of costume history at the University of Delaware, where her lectures include studies of durability issues in clothing and textiles from the 18th century to the present day.

About Bobby F. Lopez

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