Exhibition Highlight: Embellishments in Victorian Dress

Saco Museum

How did nineteenth century clothing makers think about design? How did they create the fabulous, over-the-top trims late 19th c. fashion is known for? Embellishments in Victorian Dress looked at nine design principles, and how they were applied, to help see Victorian fashion in a new way.

First opening at the University Museum at UNH, Durham in September 2012, the exhibition traveled to Lowell, Massachusetts in 2014 and the Portsmouth Athenaeum in 2015. In 2017, this greatly expanded exhibition of fifty garments featured the nine core examples from the original show, with many new selections from the University of New Hampshire’s Irma Bowen Textile Collection, the Saco Museum, Portsmouth Historical Society’s John Paul Jones House, Strawbery Banke Museum, and Woodman Institute Museum.

Strawbery Banke Museum

Woodman Institute Museum

Portsmouth Historical Society

Saco Museum

Featured Article: Say “Yes” to the Dress

Astrida Schaeffer, photo by Lisa Nugent, UNHVictorian women put their own spin on the power suit.

The Victorian ladies of UNH have gathered for a chat. They mill about on risers in a ground-floor room at Dimond Library, facing in all directions as they display their finery from perfectly pleated collar to elegantly draped bustle. They are a fashion show, a three-dimensional swatch of history, and a testament to the tough-minded long-ago instructor who brought them together.

The ladies are headless, yet they speak. And through the contemporary women who channel their voices, this is what they say:

Do not underestimate us. You’d be amazed what we can do in these corsets.

>> Read the full article in the UNH Alumni Magazine By Jane Harrigan.