A few weeks ago I had the honor of hosting “Reimagined Fashion” at the Charleston Museum. It was a dream collaboration with the Textile Curator Teresa Teixeira and Liza Holian the marketing director at the museum to produce an exciting one night only event exposing the the hidden gems in their textile collection. We brought in 7 local designers – Kristy Bishop, Kristen Fanarakis of Senza Tempo, Danielle Hosker of Mason Hosker, Emily Kotarski, Lauren Lail of Library Littles, Daniel Velasco, and Carrie Beth Waghorn to pair their original design with a garment from the museum’s archives. The museum’s collection is a treasure trove of Charleston’s history through fashion. It holds over 10,000 clothing and accessory textiles dating over 200 years ago.
Mannequin photography by Sean Money
Of course I wanted to be a part of the fun so I chose a look from the museum’s collection that complimented one of my mom’s 60’s dresses that was made in the Philippines. As fate would have it I chose a piece from the archives that is serendipitously connected to the museum. This evening coat worn by Laura Bragg who was the director of the Charleston Museum in the 1920’s. She was a very progressive women for her time and shook things up in the south. She was the first woman in the U.S. to hold a position of this kind, initiated African Americans to have access to the museum, was involved with artists during Charleston’s Renaissance, and was gay and deaf. I really feel like the coat chose me and Ms. Bragg would be proud to be a part of our revival event honoring the museum’s history. The description of each outfit is listed below the designer along with the history of the clothing, accompanied by the beautiful illustration by Daniel Velasco.
Daniel Velasco is one of my dearest friends, a true renaissance man and there’s nothing he can’t do with his hands. Fashion illustration, fashion design, makeup, set design, painting, and sculpting are just the few things I have witnessed him do. Not only did he make a dress inspired by the 1960’s dress he chose from the archives, he also painted illustrations to go with both looks.
Local artist Carrie Beth Waghorn infuses feminism into her work and I knew she would come up with something totally unexpected. Her bold graphic art and whimsy aesthetic was incorporated into her original design and I absolutely fell in love with her look. She even got an order to duplicate the whole outfit for one of the attendees at the event. Her archival pieces were a mix of 1970’s and 1800’s, a true contrast of era’s that worked beautifully together.
Danielle Hosker of Mason Hosker is known for for her polished and sophisticated silhouettes for dressy occasions. She paired her cream coat with a 1960’s wedding dress and her black and silver graphic gown with a festive pom pom coat that was once worn by Bessie Prioleau in the 1880’s.
Kristy Bishop is a true fashion artisan and artist. She knows her craft inside and out – dyeing, weaving, fibers, textiles, garment construction, and corseting. She paired her pink dyed corset with a skirt from 1860 and paired a Parisian made corset from the 1880’s with her custom hoop skirt with hand dyed silk strips. She concocted her own dyes with red onion skins, cochineal, and madder root to get the perfect hues of red, pink, and coral. She topped it off with her hand dyed cotton necklaces giving it a modern touch.
Kristen Fanarakis of Senza Tempo designs vintage inspired clothing so this was the perfect collaboration for her. Her classic line of dresses and separates echos silhouettes from the 1920’s – 1970’s. She paired her dresses with with a kimono and dressing gown from the 1920’s.
Lauren Lail of Library Littles started out her business as a vintage dealer and then naturally segued into her own line of clothing. She recently branched out into her childrenswear line Library Littles. Her baby blue romper paired perfectly with the museum’s 1900 pinafore.
Emily Kotarski designs the dreamiest wedding gowns and found a match made in heaven with one of the museum’s gowns. It’s pretty incredible that a hundred years later the same trends are still relevant. Both gowns have the cape detail in the back that turns into the train.
Sandwiched between the lovely Liza and kristy sipping on our tasty Bravazzi. It was a glorious spring evening in the museum’s courtyard and these Italian hard sodas were the perfect refreshments.
Mingling with the talented Cristy Pratt of Morph Clothing and our friend Rebekah.
My girl Samira aka DJ Sista Misses with Susan of Skirt Magazine.
With some of my favorite people – Timothy Newborn, Daniel Velasco, Lori De Nicola, and Nicole Mickle.
Thank you to our sponsors Skirt Magazine and Brazazzi to help make this event a success. I’m so happy I was able to share just a sneak peek of Charleston Museum’s incredibly extensive collection of impeccably preserved clothing and accessories. The best part is that you can always make an appointment for a private tour of their archives. I already can’t wait to dig through their archives some more because I know I have just scratched the surface.