Short and swingy, this little 1920s crinkled chiffon dress is the perfect choice for a muggy afternoon. The chiffon is printed in sprays of red, blue and yellow flowers and fashioned into a sleeveless shift, with a flounce at the hipline coming to a peak in front, echoing the V-neckline. The hem has picot edging and dips down on each side.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

A springtime delight, this 1870s lavender silk moiré bodice is beautifully ornamented with embroidered eyelet and lavender chenille. The front opening is covered with ruched cream chiffon. Lined with lavender taffeta, it has 15 encased stays along with a white ribbon inner waistband, bearing a label from M. O’Brien / Robes / 266 West 38th St., N.Y. Most likely, the bodice had a matching skirt. It was probably worn by Gertrude Ellen Dupuy Sanford (1841-1902).

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Beautifully embroidered silk fabric is what makes this dress so special. Although the dress is styled to the 1830s, the fabric is probably 18th century French. It makes sense that such lovely fabric would be re-used in new garment to meet the changing fashion. All worked in silk using a tambour stitch, the bouquets of flowers are tied with a meandering ribbon. The dress has a scooped neckline, short sleeves with braid trim, and hooks and eyes to close the back opening. The full skirt is pleated in front and gathered in back. It was given to the Museum in 1940 by Katherine Felder Stewart, a descendant of Eliza Lucas Pinckney.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Pert and pretty and definitely green, this 1950s cocktail dress would be perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day party. Jade green chiffon over green taffeta, the full skirt has a green net petticoat for the stylish bouffant look of the day. The boat neckline softly drapes over the shoulders, echoing the cummerbund-style waistband. The ballerina length was popular in the 1950s as was the V-style back neckline. It has a label: Lorrie Deb / San Francisco, a clothing line first launched in November 1950.

This dress was worn by a daughter of Alvin Arthur & Frances Cains Burbage of Charleston, probably Mary Frances, who was born around 1940.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

For March – Women’s History Month – we have chosen this incredible appliqué panel, probably made by Martha Cannon Webb Logan around 1840. She, of course, may have worked on it for a number of years. The long panel (17 inches by over 17 feet long) depicts Charleston as a seaport city, from detailed sailing ships, carriages, goods and animals, to stately houses. It was undoubtedly planned in a different format (a bed quilt perhaps), but was cut apart and portions reassembled by a later family member. The original maker’s use of fabrics and appliqué combine to create a fascinating folk art montage.  

Martha (1783-1843) was the daughter of William Webb and Margaret D’Oyley.  She married William Logan in 1819. The quilt pieces passed to her granddaughter, Martha Webb “Patty” Logan and then to her niece, Alice Logan Wright who gave it to the Museum in 1977, in memory of the many generations of Logans who have served the town, the province, and the country.

In 1990, Sandi Fox at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art included this piece in her exhibition and book, Wrapped in Glory: Figurative Quilts & Bedcovers 1700-1900, in which she postulates both the maker of the quilt piece and her sources for many of the individual motifs. Just recently, a new study has been taken on by Brenda Rousseau of Colonial Williamsburg and Kathleen Staples, an independent researcher, to try to figure out what might have been the original format for this intriguing piece.

Need to zoom in a little closer? Click here for a bit larger view.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Fashions of the 1970s were definitely over the top, as evidenced by this stunning aqua evening dress. It is overlaid with aqua chiffon covered with large abstract floral designs – some painted, some appliquéd colored taffeta (pin, blue, purple, yellow and lime green) edged with gold metallic embroidery and embellished with gold sequins and rhinestones. It has a high corded waistline, popular for the period, with a slightly gathered long skirt. The bodice is only partially lined, leaving the long sleeves and upper bodice sheer. It has a zipper closure in back and bears a label: “Elinor Simmons / for Malcolm Starr® / Made in The British Crown Colony of Hong Kong.”

This amazing dress was worn by Alice LeMacks Patrick here in Charleston to the wedding of Robert Lockwood and Jean Louise Schill on August 22, 1970. Alice had been given this dress by Blossom Krawcheck, of Krawcheck’s Ladies Companion Shop at 313 King Street. This was part of the fashionable Jack Krawcheck men’s clothing business, originally opened in 1922 and closing in 1995, long after his death.

Malcolm Starr (1924-2008) was head of the popular American ready-to-wear company started by his father in the 1940s. He was one of the first to lease factories in India and China for manufacturing and operated boutiques in Hong Kong and Japan. After his father’s death in 1969, Malcolm ran the business until 1976. One of the designer names associated with Malcolm Starr was Elinor (Rizkallah) Simmons from the early 1960s until 1972. Their simple lines were often enhanced by elaborate beading and embroidery, the work done in Hong Kong.

This dress is currently on exhibit in Fashion Flashback: 1970s (January 18 to April 27, 2014)

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

These two designer bags were made in 2003 and signed by Charleston designer, Mary K. Norton. They were retailed under her Moo Roo / Charleston label at her shop at 316 King Street. 

The black satin purse with three fabric magnolias is entitled Southern Lady. The stiff fabric bag has a flap over the font, closing with a magnetic button. It is lined with black satin. 

The flamboyant ostrich feather bag is entitled Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The flowing feather extend beyond the bottom of the bag. It is open at the top with a small flap to close with a magnetic button and the bag is lined with black satin.

Mary K. Norton founded her company in 1998; within eight years it grew to international proportions and locations. She created handbags and shoes for the stars. Her whimsical yet sophisticated designs appealed on many levels and found favor with both red carpet stars and stylish clients. Her boutiques were forced to close in 2009, but in 2010 she restarted her Moo Roo brand and is now even back on King Street at Art Mecca of Charleston.

Both bags are on exhibit in Fashion Accessories: Purses January 25 – April 27, 2014

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

This stylish early 20th century purse or handbag is luscious red velvet with red leather side and bottom gussets. The front scalloped pocket is ornamented with red leather pointed ovals studded with steel beads. The bag has a steel frame with knob clasp and the red velvet handle attaches to the frame with steel fittings shaped like hands grasping the frame. Elegant but also practical, it is lined with tan cotton.
The purse came to the Museum in 2007 from the granddaughter of Eulalie Northrop Wall, Marion, S.C. It was found in a trunk of her things, including her wedding dress from 1912. Helen Eulalie Northrop was born in Idaho in 1891 but married John Furman Wall, a Marion, S.C. native. His military service took him around the globe during and after World War I. She died in 1964 and they are both buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Perhaps this wonderful purse dates to around the time of her marriage.
See this purse and many more in our exhibit Fashion Accessories: Purses!
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

This stylish early 20th century purse or handbag is luscious red velvet with red leather side and bottom gussets. The front scalloped pocket is ornamented with red leather pointed ovals studded with steel beads. The bag has a steel frame with knob clasp and the red velvet handle attaches to the frame with steel fittings shaped like hands grasping the frame. Elegant but also practical, it is lined with tan cotton.

The purse came to the Museum in 2007 from the granddaughter of Eulalie Northrop Wall, Marion, S.C. It was found in a trunk of her things, including her wedding dress from 1912. Helen Eulalie Northrop was born in Idaho in 1891 but married John Furman Wall, a Marion, S.C. native. His military service took him around the globe during and after World War I. She died in 1964 and they are both buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Perhaps this wonderful purse dates to around the time of her marriage.

See this purse and many more in our exhibit Fashion Accessories: Purses!

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Bill Blass designed this timely dress which Alison Harwood wore to a wedding around 1971. The black silk crepe has a wonderful pink, orange and white tie-dye design, bringing it right in line with the wild and crazy 1970s fashions. It has a round neckline with back zipper, long sleeves gathered to cuffs with covered buttons, black silk lining, a cummerbund waistband and a matching triangular scarf.
Mrs. Harwood (1915-1991) was a senior editor at Vogue magazine in New York City and a frequent visitor to Charleston. She, with Richard H. Jenrette, founded Historic Charleston Foundation’s tremendously successful Historic Reproductions program in 1972. She moved to Charleston full time in 1977, where she continued to be the epitome of style. In 1982, she gave the Charleston Museum a number of her fashionable clothing items from her days with Vogue.
This lovely dress is currently on exhibit in Fashion Flashback: 1970s, the first installment of our journey backwards through time in a decade-by-decade look at clothing styles. The 1970s will be up until April 27, 2014.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Bill Blass designed this timely dress which Alison Harwood wore to a wedding around 1971. The black silk crepe has a wonderful pink, orange and white tie-dye design, bringing it right in line with the wild and crazy 1970s fashions. It has a round neckline with back zipper, long sleeves gathered to cuffs with covered buttons, black silk lining, a cummerbund waistband and a matching triangular scarf.

Mrs. Harwood (1915-1991) was a senior editor at Vogue magazine in New York City and a frequent visitor to Charleston. She, with Richard H. Jenrette, founded Historic Charleston Foundation’s tremendously successful Historic Reproductions program in 1972. She moved to Charleston full time in 1977, where she continued to be the epitome of style. In 1982, she gave the Charleston Museum a number of her fashionable clothing items from her days with Vogue.

This lovely dress is currently on exhibit in Fashion Flashback: 1970s, the first installment of our journey backwards through time in a decade-by-decade look at clothing styles. The 1970s will be up until April 27, 2014.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Hats can be stunning fashion statements while keeping the wearer warm. These two hats, perfect for a chilly winter day, are currently in Fashion Accessories: Hats, on exhibit until January 19, 2014.

This man’s brown beaver fedora was purchased by the donor’s husband, Dr. Herbert Ulysses Seabrook in 1930 for $32.50. Dr. Seabrook (1884-1941) was an African American physician practicing in Charleston on Spring Street. He also worked as the director for the Hospital & Training School for Nurses. Born in Charleston, he was the son of Williams and Amerintha Alston Seabrook. He married Miriam DeCosta in 1923. Their papers are housed at the Avery Research Center, College of Charleston. 

The fedora, invented in 1891, features a wide brim, a hat band or ribbon and a pinched and indented crown. It was enormously popular in the 1930s when almost every man owned at least one. The style actually started out as a woman’s fashion, but by the 1920s, men had adopted this practical and attractive hat.

Our warm choice for women is this amazing hat, c. 1912, black velvet covered with iridescent feathers and a stuffed bird. It bears a Stern Brothers / Paris New York label, a company founded in 1867 by Isaac, Louis and Benjamin Stern. They built several impressive locations, including an enormous cast-iron façade store on West 23rd Street. It was an elegant store noted for its fashionable clothes; ladies from all over New York came to Stern Brothers for their Paris fashions. Doormen wearing top hats greeted customers as they entered.

This luxurious hat was worn by Lucy Robertson Garden (1845-1930), the wife of Hugh Richardson Garden of Sumter.

Both of these hats are currently on exhibit in Fashion Accessories: Hats (June 19, 2013 - January 19, 2014). 

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday