Friday, April 4, 2014

Inside Out and Underneath

Sneak peek of the exhibit just before the glass case cover went back on.
Be sure you don't miss out on seeing the other side though!

Have you ever wondered about the exquisite tailoring on the inside of the clothing you see in museums? Have you ever wondered how people dealt with tricky issues like body odor prior to modern hygiene products or how one could easily use the bathroom dressed in so many layers of Victorian skirts? Fashion exhibitions have become very popular in recent years, but often visitors leave wondering about how the wearer of such garments would have dealt with the realities of daily life. Be sure to check out our special exhibition "Inside out and Underneath: Secrets of Victorian Dress at the Morse Institute Library and find out more!

The exhibit is located on the 1st floor near the new acquisitions and the mystery/fiction sections. It features several items from our extensive textile collection (including undergarments and a Victorian jacket worn right here in Natick) and explores some of the lesser known complexities of Victorian clothing—especially what was going on underneath!

Interested in finding out more about historical costumes and textiles? Explore the links below to find out more about historic textiles, contemporary fashion exhibitions, the Dress Reform Movement in America, historical newspaper cartoons about fashion, books, blogs, and more. We hope you'll enjoy reading more about the fascinating world of historic textiles--please consider adding your own favorite books, exhibitions, and personal stories in the comments section!

Inside Out and Underneath: Follow Up Resources

Articles and Online Publications
A Brief Overview of the Dress Reform Movement in America
The "Freedom Suit": Feminism and Dress Reform in the United States, 1848-1875
Fashion History: The 19th Century Dress Reform Movements

The New York Public Library Digital Collections website is a virtual treasure trove of images from popular culture and more. Try typing in "crinoline" or "corset" too see all kinds of political/cultural newspaper cartoons as well as advertising on the subject, similar to the ones featured in our exhibit.

Here Come the Brides-V&A Exhibition Blog
How does a museum get ready for a big fashion exhibition? It might just surprise you to see what goes on behind the scenes...

Museum Collections and Exhibitions
The Metropolitan Museum, New York
View highlights from the Met's extensive textile collection of more than thirty-five thousand costumes and accessories which represents five continents and seven centuries of fashionable dress.

The Victoria & Albert Museum, London

The V&A has one of the most extensive textile collections in the world with particular strengths in the Victorian era. Explore their collection and other online content.

Threads of Feeling
Foundling Museum, London
This is an incredibly moving online exhibition about the power of and stories behind some scraps of textiles that you can access through the above link

Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail
University Museum at UNH
Event though this exhibit is no longer up, you can still explore lots of high quality images of the garments featured here

Think Pink, MFA Boston
This exhibit is currently on display at the MFA until May 26th of this year so get to see it while you still can! The exhibit explores the changing meaning of the color pink in fashion and culture (and features some really lovely ensembles as well).

Wedding Dresses: 1775-2014
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This is going to be a big fashion exhibit coming to the V&A this May and will run through March 2015. If you are interested in textiles and heading across the pond in the next year, don't miss it! Additional content can be found through the above link.

Fashion in Fiction
The Charleston Museum, South Carolina
Fascinated about the romantic styles your favorite characters wore? Check out the online content for this exhibit in Charleston featuring styles that play fundamental roles in classic works of fiction including The Great Gatsby, Anne of Green Gables, Jane Austen, and more!

Look these great books up at your local library or find them online

Underwear: Fashion in Detail, V&A Publishing, 2010

From Queen to Empress: Victorian Dress 1837-1877: An Exhibition at the Costume Institute, December 15, 1988-April 16, 1989, Caroline Goldthorpe

Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail, Astrida Schaeffer, 2013

Inside Out: A Brief History of Underwear, Shelley Tobin, 2000

Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style, Smithsonian, DK Publishing, 2012 (this is a good starting point for older kids)

100 Dresses: The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harold Koda, 2010