Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Saturday, July 27, 2013

My First Attempt at Blue Steel

An online article was just published about me!

The awesome author of this article was considering writing something about me earlier, and at that time he asked if I had a "headshot" he could use for the article. All I could come up with was a mediocre pic of myself where I had to awkwardly crop other people out. The article didn't end up happening. So when the idea of writing an article came up again, he sent a real photographer.

So I got to get all dressed up and practice my supermodel face. Needs work, but could be worse.

Fun fact: The two outfits behind me (in the sexy artsy shadows) are two recent discoveries in the collection: a 1960s Rudi Gernreich dress and a 1950s Balenciaga Suit. Both worn by fabulous, fashionable Seattle women.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Montana and Mannequinland

I survived Montana! It was a wonderful, interesting trip. I took a lot of pictures that looked like this:

Part of the purpose of the trip was a Toews cousin reunion (my mom's side of the family). Fifteen of the 27 cousins were there, and we decided to recreate a famous cousin photo we took more than 15 years ago where we all lined up by height. At that time the oldest were in high school and the youngest were toddlers, so there was a nice slope to the lineup. This time, not so much.

We all got the Grandma Clara tall genes apparently. We also found out that we share deep love of cold cereal and correctly recognize celery as a blight that should be banished from all salads of the chicken, potato, and tuna variety. It is good to spend time with family.

On the last day we had some time in Glasgow, so of course I sought out the nearest museum and started taking pictures of mannequins.

Snaps up girl! You WERQ that uniform like it's Dior

This shark attack victim was presented on top of a case without comment

Yikes. This is what Zac Efron would look like if he went gray and started dressing like an Edwardian school headmistress

But really, I shouldn't be a hater. This week I put in some new garments at the museum and snapped photos for documentation. We put this stunning blue coat in the 1950s section-- it was from London and had been sold at John Doyle Bishop. I've grumbled before about our mannequins, but they look mostly ok in person. But in photographs, all the shadows really stand out and distort the faces so they look horrifying

Just focus on the coat. Just focus on the coat. Just focus on the coat


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summer Vacation!

Happy July 4th!

The kickass flag dress you are looking at is one that I installed at the museum yesterday. It was worn by a 12-year old girl in 1909 during a parade at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition.

Today I am leaving on a trip to Montana for a family reunion. My mom and I are taking the train...
hold up.


...taking the train to Glasgow Montana, getting picked up in a pick-up truck, and driving an hour out into the country to Lustre, which is where the family farm is located.

I'm pretty excited about this part too, except that I had a heck of a time trying to plan my clothing concept. 1) It is going to be really hot 2) There is going to be lots of traipsing around on the farm and hanging out in fields and stuff. Jeans seem like they will be too warm, but skirts will be too flimsy and fancy. The logical clothing item for this setting would be shorts, but I happen to not own any. I had a pink skort for a while that I wore whenever I got roped into doing something outdoorsy but I seem to have lost track of it.

When I told my coworkers where I was going they seemed strangely amused by the idea of me in Montana. One of them said that the me in the country sounded very "Green Acres." While others were giving me suggestions on what to wear and how to survive, she advocated for just committing and showing up in a feather boa and heels.

Actually, I'm pretty proud that my reputation lends itself to a Eva Gabor comparison.