Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wedding Gallery

Wedding selections from Strawbery Banke Museum

shoe gallery

Shoe Selections from Strawbery Banke

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gift of Salem Shoes, ca. 1780s

Hi everyone, Bridget here. We just received this gift of beautiful shoes from a private donor. Dated ca. 1780s, the shoes have passed down through several generations of a Salem family. It is assumed the original owner was Lydia Waite Williams, wife of Israel Williams, Salem, MA ship captain and captain of the Ship Friendship out of Salem. More information to follow.

Photograph, Bridget Swift
Strawbery Banke, January 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Astrida Schaeffer of Schaeffer Arts, join team.

Astrida Schaeffer of SchafferArts joins the Passion for Fashion team as our exclusive mannequin designer for items from the historic textile and costume collection at Strawbery Banke Museum. SchafferArts will also complete minor restoration and stabilization of garments needed for display. The team is looking forward to working with Astrida. Her custom designed mannequins for some of our children's clothes have been perennial favorites. The boy's sailor suit (ca. 1850s, homespun and handsewn) takes on a jaunty air, while the child's cooler with its detailed handsewn vandycks exudes youthful innocence. The custom-designed mannequins breath life into the past the clothes represent.

Astrida will begin work on Sarah Parker Goodwin's (wife of Ichabod Goodwin, New Hampshire's Civil War governor) Portsmouth Steam factory dress shortly. More to come.

"Children" photographed in Goodwin Mansion kitchen by Ellen McDermott, 2010

The "Emma"

Hello all, Bridget here. Just stumbled upon my dream dress designer, Claire Pettibone. While drooling over these beautiful gowns I came across “Emma”, an empire style gown that reminded me of our own “Emma”. In our collections we have a classic empire style gown donated to the museum in 1987 that we have come to call “Emma” (based on Jane Austen’s work that has been popularized through film) as well. The gown is from ca. 1820’s and was worn by Rachel Morgan, daughter of General Jacob Morgan, when she was married in Philadelphia. The gown is entirely hand-sewn and is made of out white “spotted” muslin with a silk taffeta under dress, a rare survival. Claire Pettibone’s contemporary gown is described as a “dusty rose and pewter embroidered empire silhouette with flowing blush silk and tulle skirt”. These two gowns show how this simple yet flattering silhouette has survived over several centuries. To see more of Claire Pettibone’s designs go to her website at or on her blog at

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Book on the Must Read List

Fashioning Fashion. This book has amazing images and details, covering the history of European dress from 1700 to 1915. A perfect size for the coffee table and beautiful clothing jumping off the page in color saturated images. In addition to its lush photography, it captures a wealth of information on fashion trends and styles.


In memory of Alexander McQueen

At the time of the designer's death in 2010, the collection was only 80 percent complete. Check out these dramatic, show stopping images McQueen was developing.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ann Carnaby found her "muse"

Costume designer and owner of Tracy Theatre Originals, Ann Carnaby, has found her "muse" in the storage areas of Strawbery Banke Museum's Textile and Costume Collection. She will base her design for the Passion for Fashion exhibition on this ca. 1860s lavender and cornflower blue stripped silk dress. Layer upon layer and yard upon yard with subtle but striking details in the placket and buttons, sleeves with blue ruffle and shoulders. Unfortunately, the dress is in poor condition, with no known provenance.

Ann will not give away any of her plans at the moment, but it is sure to be a spirited and inspired creation. She has already been to NYC looking for fabric and trim. Watch these pages as she shares her progress sketches and thoughts.

Wedding dress, shoes & gloves donated to collection

Thanks to one of our Passion for Fashion sponsors, Concettas Closet, in Newmarket, NH, we have recently been offered an early 19th century wedding dress for use in the exhibition or as a study garment.