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Stephens presents ‘Brides of Downton Abbey’ event

March 13, 2015

A wedding folklorist and costume historian is coming to the Stephens College campus Saturday to discuss the inspiration behind the bridal gowns featured in PBS’s popular “Downton Abbey” series.

Cornelia Powell will present “Vintage Inspiration: The Brides of Downton Abbey” at 11:30 a.m. on March 14 in the Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall. The presentation is free and open to the public.
During the presentation, Powell will discuss the inspirations behind the 1920-styled wedding gowns and provide insights and commentary based on her interviews with “Downton Abbey” designers. She will also explore bridal fashion through the decades, combining stories of wedding folklore, tiara legends and royal brides.

The presentation is part of this semester’s exhibit at the Historic Costume Gallery. “The Day. The Dress. The Dream.” runs through May 10 and features bridal gowns and wedding attire from three centuries.

“We’re really excited to showcase bridal gowns through the years, including pieces from the era showcased on ‘Downton Abbey,’” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design. “Anyone who has been a bride, who has dreamed of being a bride or who has any interest in weddings through the decades will want to see this collection.”

Highlights of the exhibit include a dress worn at Grace Kelly’s wedding, an exquisite Vera Wang dress on loan, and a 1949 design by Ceil Chapman, a celebrity stylist during Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Also on display will be custom designs by Stephens alumnae; multi-generational dresses worn by grandmothers, mothers and daughters; and other wedding attire such as mother-of-the-bride dresses and grooms’ attire.

The Historic Costume Gallery, located on the mezzanine of Lela Raney Wood Hall, is open noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Items in the exhibit:

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