Vintage Bridal Party at Costume Resource Center
About a week ago, a friend of mine asked me to join her at the Teddy Roosevelt Inaugural Site for a vintage bridal exhibit. It seemed like the perfect event for us to attend together, her being a history nerd and me being a fashion nerd. I figured it would be a couple of dresses and we’d be in and out, but it was so much more! If you have never been to this historical Buffalo landmark, you should absolutely go. It was truly fascinating and I can’t believe that I haven’t noticed it before.
Among other things, it houses an amazing resource that I was also unaware of—the Costume Resource Center. They have an incredible collection of vintage clothing items, dating from the early1800s to the 1960s, and they hold events a few times a year, honoring the styles of days gone by. A board of ten people run the resource center, and a few of the members spoke to me about how they are different than other historical costume organizations. They explained that they allow the garments to be worn by live models and utilized in other highly interactive ways so that people have a more connected experience with the garments—so that people aren’t just looking at them behind glass.
The dresses for this event were bridal gowns which were both displayed on live models for a fashion show, as well as on mannequins in the various rooms of the house that boasts both original and restored interiors and décor. One of the gowns was a beautifully constructed 1950’s re-creation of Princess Grace’s iconic long-sleeved Chantilly lace gown. This dress (the last image at the end of this article) was a shining example of the kind of attention to detail, fabrication, and technique that stands the test of time. It is also a lovely reminder of the reverence women had—and continue to have—for classic fashion that never goes out of style.