Today@Sam Article

19th-Century Fashion Show Celebrates Women’s History

Feb. 25, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

fashionTo help kick-off Women’s History Month, the Sam Houston State University Newton Gresham Library is partnering with the Sam Houston Memorial Museum to explore how fashion has evolved by hosting a 19th-century fashion show on Feb. 28 at 11 a.m.

Historical interpreters from the museum, and their friends, will model outfits and underpinnings inspired by the likes of Margaret Lea Houston, the First Lady of the Republic of Texas, and her social circle of friends.

“On display will be dresses from the 1830’s to 1860’s and accessories worn with the outfits of the time,” said Fabiola Jean-Baptiste, NGL marketing and events coordinator. “In the 19th-century, women wore several layers of clothing, and depending on their socioeconomic status, the clothing got more complicated.”

All outfits had a foundational layer, no matter the schedule of the day, which included a chemise, stockings, petticoats, and drawers. Regardless of economic class, all women wore these underlayers, but the working-class women’s underpinnings were made of less expensive material.

“Clothing is just one layer of interpretation that speaks to a larger story of domestic, social, and political history in our country,” Jean-Baptiste said. “We urge students to join us on the first floor of the library on Monday to gain a sense of appreciation and learn about the women of the time.”

As a backdrop to the show, the NGL will also present a recently acquired portrait of Sam Houston by William Augustine “Bill” McKenna, donated to the library by Charlie and Senie Fogarty.

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