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Arnow Lecture Focuses on Fashion Trends from Historic Engravings

May 20, 2014

Fashion Professor Jill Carey gave her final lecture as the Joan Weiler Arnow '49 Professor this week, focusing on her recent research related to fashion trends depicted in fashion plate engravings from the early 1800s through the 1900s. Cary, who is also curator of the Lasell Fashion Collection, concludes her three-year special appointment as Arnow Professor this spring.

Carey's most recent research was prompted by a donation to the Lasell Fashion Collection of 78 fashion plates from the Rudolph Ackermann Repository of Arts dating from 1809 to 1826. The plates were donated by the DiBiase family last year.

"These engravings were early documentation of feminine styles and lifestyle," said Carey, who presented her research along with recent Lasell graduate and fashion major Lindsay Feeney '14.

Their research analyzed fashion trends as well as societal cues as they changed during that time period.

Fashion plates, such as those from the Ackermann Repository, were unique illustrations that represented fashions and societal norms for women during the Regency Period, after the fall of Napoleon and rise of Queen Victoria. In each of these illustrations, the designs, fabrics, and embellishments that were popular at this time were depicted in detail.

Carey and Feeney also presented their research at the Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association conference in Chicago in April.

Earlier in her appointment, Carey conducted research on women's military dress and curated several exhibits related to that work and the Lasell Fashion Collection.


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