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Back to the Future … in Style

April 30, 2021

Lasell University fashion students leveraged technology utilized by leading museums around the world to create a virtual fashion exhibit comparing neoclassical style and contemporary dress. 

An artifact from the Lasell University Fashion CollectionThe virtual exhibition highlights symbolic associations between an assortment of illustrative plates from Ackermann’s Repository of Arts and select contemporary attire from the Lasell Fashion Collection. Each comparison analyzes wearable connections and influences from the contrasting time periods, and articulates the historical importance of costume advancement tracing back to the early 19th century. 

“Our investigation of material culture presiding in the Lasell Fashion Collection has given us an opportunity to utilize our fashion education in a scholarly framework,” said the Lasell students involved in the project: Mateo Arman ’21, Aine Hawthorne ’20, Julie Pirog ’21, and Sarena Widtfeldt ’22.   

“Each discovery [in the exhibit] conveys collective passions for deeper thinking associated with specific comparisons between Neoclassical style and contemporary dress. The opportunity to participate in this project as junior curators has been most rewarding.” 

An artifact from the Lasell University Fashion Collection

Both the assembly and display of the virtual exhibit gave students a way to apply Lasell’s Connected Learning principles while adhering to safety protocols. As a bonus, the use of a virtual space means a broader audience to explore the students’ innovative, analytical, and discerning explorations. 

“Not only was this project coordinated and executed by students as a form of scholarly publication, it also demonstrates the versatility and opportunity that comes with the digitization of artifacts,” said Kathleen Potter, associate professor and dean of Lasell’s School of Fashion.

The exhibit was recently selected as a feature on the PastPerfect website, the museum software company used to build the virtual experience.