portfolio of

Exhibit Prep and Dressing Services

The following are some examples of my work experience at the Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia. My first experience with the Valentine, was as an intern in the summer of 1996. I was awarded the Valentine Centennial Scholarship that summer. The Valentine houses the largest collection, over 35,000, of historic costumes & textiles in the South.

In 1997, I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in Fashion in 1997 with an emphasis in Costume Design, Marketing, and Computers. I became a volunteer at the Valentine one day each week. I volunteered to keep in touch with historical garments and study the construction and design methods used. I had found that I was limited in research studying historical costumes from textbooks only. Working with the original garments in a variety of aspects allows you to see the construction methods inside and out. The way a garment appears laying flat or hanging may give a completely different appearance when placed on a mannequin.

Princess Diana Evening Gown

Special Exhibit, Oct. 1997

This was my first experience as a dresser for this special showing of this Princess Diana gown. The gown was purchased by Fontaine Minor at the much publicized Christie's auction in June 1997. Since Mrs. Minor has hired me to be the gown's professional dresser. This requires traveling with the gown to its exhibitions. I have met and talked with the gown's designer, Emmanuel.

To view more pictures of my dressing ability of the Princess Di gowns go to the Princess Tea Party.

Les Petits Dames de Mode

Valentine Museum: Exhibit Nov. 1997- Jan. 1998.

This is a traveling exhibit also known as "The Little Ladies of Fashion". The "Ladies" are small mannequins, 29 inches high, dressed in reproduced period costumes spanning the years 1852-1914. Mr. John Burbidge, the designer, displayed 31 of his "Ladies" at the Valentine. I got to meet Mr. Burbidge and discuss in depth his research and design methodology. Since The Costume Gallery has been publicizing the exhibits tours.

An Exhibition of Wedding Gowns

Another part of the Les Petits' exhibit was some of the Valentine's wedding gowns that represented the same periods in fashion. We prepped the gowns for exhibit representing each decade. It is very hard to choose which gowns would represent their decade. The museum has one of the largest collections of wedding dresses in the United States. The gowns seemed to have come to life once we placed them on the mannequins. An interesting fact was studying how the corsets from sixty years shaped women's silhouette. The following are some of the gowns I prepped and dressed for this exhibit. Click on the gowns to view an enlargement.

Wedding Gowns:

1865-1880's

Wedding Gowns:

1890's-1912

If you are interested in hiring The Costume Gallery for our wardrobe and dressing services, please contact, dresser@costumegallery.com. More of our portfolio is available upon request.

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