Behind the Scenes at a Fashion History Exhibition.

Friday, June 30 will be the opening of Putman History Museum’s exhibit Summer Afternoon: Fashion and Leisure in the Hudson Highlands, 1850–1950 in Cold Spring, NY—one hour and ten minutes north of Manhattan. This exhibit presents summer fashions and undergarments from the museum’s world class collection, donated over the years by local families. Photographs and documents from the museum’s collection will bring to life the Highlands’ history as a social, summer gathering place for local families as well as city dwellers escaping the heat. Dr. Trudie Grace, PHM curator and historian explores these themes in the show’s catalog.

Dr. Lourdes Font, adjunct curator and professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, has been preparing for this exhibit for many months, with the help of her students. The garments have been painstakingly conserved by hand in the laboratory at FIT and special handmade mannequins (sculptures in their own right) were created to accommodate the fragile, often petite confections.

Since Hanky Panky is a major donor of this project, I’ve been observing the process of staging this exhibit and it has been fascinating!

Each historic garment gets its own custom-built and shaped mannequin and supports, meant to mimic the body and undergarments of its original wearer.

Each historic garment gets its own custom-built and shaped mannequin and supports, meant to protect the garment and mimic the body and undergarments of its original wearer.

Cotton Day Dress, 1855.

Cotton Day Dress, c.1855.

Commencement Dress, c. 1895

Commencement Dress, c.1895

This year is the 35th anniversary of Hanky Panky. Our involvement with Summer Afternoon is an ideal opportunity to celebrate and return to our namesake beginnings of hand-embroidered handkerchief lingerie—with a special collection inspired by the lovely lace and embroidered pieces in the show. I feel as though we have come full circle.

Hanky Panky's "Summer Afternoon" collection.

Hanky Panky's "Summer Afternoon" collection.

For a lovely weekend getaway or just a day trip accessible by Metro-North, visit Cold Spring, NY . Enjoy this historic town on the Hudson and don’t miss the  exhibit.

-Gale

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About Hanky Panky

Over 30 years ago, in 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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2 Responses to Behind the Scenes at a Fashion History Exhibition.

  1. Christina S says:

    Saw this exhibit this weekend and love your “Summer Afternoon” collection! Will it be on sale? I checked your website, but did not see the items up. Thanks!