Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Day at Strawbery Banke

Here we have a selection from our hat collection being let out in the fresh air. Bowler Hat worn by Ben, Black Hat worn by Elizabeth and Straw Hat worn by Tara.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

James Davis Shoe from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The silk and leather shoe pictured above is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dated ca. 1760s, it was created by shoe maker James Davis, whose label places him near Aldgate, London. (Center image) A similar shoe by the same maker will be featured in Strawbery Banke Museum "Passion for Fashion" exhibit in 2012. For further information on the maker's career and apprenticeship, see blog entry "Lady's London Shoe" (Thursday 10 June 2010)

In this later ca.1760s shoe, notice the change of heel proportion and shape of toe. Like the shoe in the Strawbery Banke Museum Collection (ca. 1730s-1740s) pictured at bottom of page) it is luxurious and lush, and the epitome of a high style shoe.

Strawbery Banke Museum staff thanks the Cordwainers College in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with their generous assistance. We will continue our research on James Davis and his oeuvre, sharing our discoveries on these pages.

Kimberly Alexander, Ph.D.
Chief Curator
Strawbery Banke Museum

Friday, July 16, 2010

1940 Wedding Trousseau

This 1940 wedding trousseau was recently donated to Strawbery Banke Museum by long time New Hampshire family, Kathy Scannell of Portsmouth, NH and her sister, Carol Provost of Merrimack, NH. The gloves, handmade magenta robe, wedding dress and shoes were part of the wedding ensemble worn by Edith Mary (Cronchaw) Casey. Miss. Cronchaw married Frances Casey on June 17th, 1940 after 19 years of dating. The extended period of courtship may explain the quality of the desinger made gown, veil and shoes as the couple was well-established prior to marriage. The donation also includes veil, stockings, slip, the wedding portraits, invitation, a collection of peach sleepwear, along with cards over the years from Francis to Edith.

The shoes are in very good condition (note the quality of the silk, the heart shaped buckle, heel proportion and delicate strap) as is the sleepwear and magenta robe. While the dress has suffered in large part due to unstable man-made fibers, the gift is of considerable importance given the intactness and completeness of the trousseau and suppporting materials.

Kimberly Alexander, Ph.D., with Bridget Swift, Collections Intern
Chief Curator
Strawbery Banke Museum

Photography, Bridget Swift

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kenneth Cole Green Shoes (Sue's Shoes)

These Pixie style loafers were designed by Kenneth Cole. Note the shoe profile and theatrical, over-the-top bow. The shoes were made in Spain with a leather sole and are a women's size 7. Also can be found in red. Our friend Sue wears them for special dress and has loaned them for the Passion for Fashion exhibition.

Silkbrocade and Bridget

Photography, Bridget

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Passion for Fashion - Coming May 2012

Photograph, Ellen McDermott

Please join Strawbery Banke Museum on its own fashion journey through four centuries of Portsmouth and seacoast style, in "Passion For Fashion" an exhibition opening in May 2012.

Fashion fades, only style remains the same.
— Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel’s subtle elegance characterized generations of fashionistas and continue to inspire the style-savvy today. Please join Strawbery Banke Museum on its own fashion journey through four centuries of seacoast style. Once a loyalist stronghold, a cauldron of revolution, a place where George Washington dined, Paul Revere rode, and John Adams complained, Portsmouth was also a site where women held their own court in salons and at galas, in gardens and in assemblies, where romantic love grew and children grew strong. Although a modest seaport, this was also a cosmopolitan city attuned to the sophisticated trends that swept in from London and Paris. What could be more revealing of early American social life than the very costumes worn by inhabitants?

We seek:

Designers: feel inspired by our textile and costume collection and develop your own contemporary, fresh, edgy wearable 21st century style.

Sponsors: participate in this singular event with countless opportunities for sponsorship, underwriting and contribution.

Collaborators: colleagues in design, fashion, textile and museum communities and creative spirits everywhere

We are up and running with our Passion for Fashion website: See news and events, images, twitter and google blogspot connections and much more.