Stephens College Costume Museum & Research Library
The Costume Museum & Research Library (est. 1958) has grown by donations from alumnae, friends and designers to more than 13,000 pieces, including representations of ethnic wear, everyday clothes of women, men and children, and an impressive list of designer garments.
Among the many designers represented are Oleg Cassini, Arnold Scaasi, Gilbert Adrian, Bill Blass, Bonnie Cashin, Chanel, Courreges, Madame Etta, Claire McCardell, Norman Norell, Oscar de la Renta and Valentino. This working collection of garments and accessories dating back to 1730 allows students to study not only garment construction but fashion trends that provide inspiration for current styles with actual hands-on experience. Archival storage areas protect the integrity of the collection, and classroom space allows for research and lecture discussions. The collection also is viewable via an online museum.
Historic Costume Gallery
Two public exhibits are held in the Historic Costume Gallery (on the mezzanine floor of Lela Raney Wood Hall, 6 N. College Ave.) throughout the year. All exhibits are free and open to the public.
Emergence: Winter Shades to Spring
Feb. 22-May 5, 2013
Thursday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12-3 p.m. and by appointment
Historic Costume Gallery
Mezzanine floor of Lela Raney Wood Hall, 6 N. College Ave
Two shows in one, “Emergence: Winter Shades to Spring,” will let visitors literally experience the emergence of spring through one imaginary socialite’s closet as it evolved from 1947 to 1990. At the beginning of the exhibit, the collection will consist of winter wear: White, silver, taupe suits and heavy garments. Like any woman of the time, our muse will swap out her winter pieces to make room for a spring wardrobe, consisting of lighter fabrics in pinks, greens and yellows. The second phase of the exhibit will emerge over spring break during the last week of March.
In the News
- Stephens exhibit invites viewers to mix and match fine art and fashion (Columbia Daily Tribune)
- Circus inspires new fashion exhibit (Vox)
- Old-fashioned outfits are at home in the Stephens College Costume Museum (Vox)
- Exhibit focuses on evolution of women in the workplace and what they wore (Columbia Daily Tribune)
- Stephens exhibit revisits styles, stories of decades past (Columbia Daily Tribune)
- Song and style - Stephens College exhibit draws inspiration from the stage (Columbia Daily Tribune)
- Good Form - Dress and Decorum for the Woman of Fashion, 1873-1911
- "Synthetic Evolution: The Rise of Polyester and Other Synthetic Fibers"
Other Skin: A Collection of Coats and Wraps from the Late 19th and
Year, New Acquisitions"