Steampunk Chronicles: The Elizabeth S. Brown Fashion Collection commemorates 40th HCC Anniversary
Over 4,000 objects dating from the 18th to the 21st century are included in a landmark gift to the internationally award-winning Fashion Department at Houston Community College Central by vintage collector Elizabeth S. Brown. Of special note is the wealth of exquisite 19th century gowns. A selection of these gowns will be featured in an inaugural exhibition of Brown’s collection in the new HCC Fashion Department gallery. The exhibition, Steampunk Chronicles: The Elizabeth S. Brown Fashion Collection will explore 19th century fashion silhouettes and details along with industrial revolution images that have combined with current fashion to create the Steampunk aesthetic.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of HCC, the Fashion Department will present the Steampunk exhibition August 1 to October 31, 2011 on the second floor at 3601 Fannin St. The exhibition will provide a fun and educational perspective of a mode of dress that is so popular with today’s young fashionistas. Visitors are invited to view the exhibition from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday or by appointment. For information call 713.718.6152. A special showing will occur for the Costume Society of America (CSA) Southwestern Regional Conference on October 1.
HCC considers this the most significant donation ever made to its Historical Fashion Collection. Brown is a legendary New Jersey costume collector who enjoyed living in Texas for several years and always wanted some of her collection to reside here.
HCC Division Chair Kay King recalls that she thought of Brown as a collector of vintage sewing machines, “I was overwhelmed when I saw the extent and quality of her vintage fashion collection. We are extremely grateful to Elizabeth for her generosity and could not have accomplished transporting everything to Houston without the many dedicated hours of packing by Elizabeth along with CSA members Nan Mutnick and Gayle Alterman.”
To care for these treasures, a clothing preservation workshop taught by CSA member and textile conservator Martha Winslow Grimm was held for 15 fashion design students and three faculty who committed to work the Collection with Exhibition Designer Alex Chapman, Collection Manager Freddie Saucedo and Curator Dana Robinson. Each of these students and faculty volunteers was rewarded with a membership in CSA. Vintage clothing dealer and appraiser Caralee Smith has made several trips to Houston to appraise the objects for Brown. Some of her remarkable finds have included a 30-inch miser’s purse, several excellent corsets, a gold beaded Worth 1920s gown and an 18th century men’s embroidered linen waistcoat among an extensive selection of men’s clothing.
For information contact Kay King at firstname.lastname@example.org or the HCC Fashion Department Office at 713.718.6152.