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Something Old and Borrowed?: 18th-Century Silk Wedding Dresses in New England.

September 28, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The talk will highlight a group of 18th-century gowns made from drawloom-woven silks that have histories of ownership to New England women. What becomes clear is that these garments were not new at the times of the ascribed weddings, and many exhibit signs of alterations years after the wedding dates. The reasons behind these unexpected discoveries are contextualized within 18th-century fashion history and more modern ideas about family heirlooms.
David E. (Ned) Lazaro is the Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles at Wadsworth Atheneum. He holds a master’s degree in fashion and textile history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he focused on 18th- and early 19th- century clothing construction. He has lectured and published on various aspects of western fashion and appearance through the lens of New England inhabitants, including 17th- and 18th- century Indian cotton, 18th-century drawloom-woven silks, 19th-century hoop skirts, and 20th-century dressmaking. Ned has curated exhibitions at the Flynt Center of Early New England Life focusing on the intersection of fashion and the military, the reuse of clothing and textiles, and nature motifs in the decorative arts.
The lecture is the closing program for the Museum’s exhibition I Do: The History of Wedding Fashion and Tradition. The event is free for members and $5 for all others. Refreshments will be served.


New Canaan Museum & Historical Society
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New Canaan Museum & Historical Society
13 Oenoke Ridge
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