Bustles & Balustrades: The Link between Victorian Dress and Architecture
May 20, 2010 - Aug 15, 2010
From bustle and bow to balustrade and buttress, Victorian clothing took its design cues from architecture. From the 1880s to just before WWI, life in Europe and the United States underwent dramatic changes that affected the look and construction of its buildings and what people wore who inhabited them.
Following the success of last year’s special exhibition Fashion Excavated,Bustles & Balustrades will investigate the relationship of Victorian clothing to architecture and decorative arts, compare elements of their construction and showcase a variety of objects from the museum collection.
Vignettes featuring clothing and objects from the museum’s collections rarely seen by the public will be staged throughout the gallery highlighting the similarities of their design. Each area will include items from our Fine Art, History, Decorative Art and Archival collections.
One such gem is the collection of watercolors by local artist Mabel Rubin who meticulously rendered many Victorian homes in Stockton. While many of these grand homes have been torn down, a few remain as testimony to the taste of the day.
Architectural plans and artistically drafted clothing patterns will encourage close observation of architectural elements and their parallels in the construction of garments.
Visitors will enjoy interactive elements like creating a calling card and dressing a mannequin. The show will also look at the current craze of Victorian revivalism with the Steampunk and Rivethead subcultures.
As was last year’s fashion exhibition, Bustles & Balustrades is guest curated by Jonathan Singer, a former instructor at Delta College’s Fashion Design Program. Currently working at the University of Pacific, he is also costuming two operas and begins a master’s program in Minneapolis in Fall 2010.