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   from the issue of April 13, 2006

  Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery

Exhibit examines historic costumes


The exhibit "Manipulations: Play It Forward," highlighting contemporary and historic dress, is on display through May 17 at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery, located on the second floor of the Home Economics Building.

Professors Barbara Trout and Janice Stauffer have identified a group of historic garments from the department's collection that are representative of craft in dressmaking over the last 100 years.

Each of the dozen garments has decorative elements that depict a range of needle work and fabric techniques including pin-tucking, bead work, ruching, button work, trapunto and embroidery. The techniques accentuate garment form and create rich surface texture. The selected garments for the exhibit range from a 1906 traveling dress featuring the monobosom silhouette with lace insets, pin-tucking and silk knotted buttons to a two piece formal ensemble with hand beaded accents, worn to the Aksarben Ball in 1965. This garment was designed and constructed by Conchita Alonso of Lincoln who served as past President of the Friends of the Hillestad Gallery.

Apparel and textile design majors in the department will be exhibiting their innovations as well. Fall semester students viewed the selected garments to examine and research how various craft techniques are applied to dress. They developed original garments for a contemporary market using the historic work as inspiration and will be presenting those along with the collection pieces.

Rachael Weichel manipulated her father's handkerchiefs with pin-tucking to create a blouse that will be shown with a skirt draped out of 1940s table cloths. Stacy Anderson designed an electric blue evening gown made of wool fabric that features the technique of ruching. Many of these labor intensive, time consuming techniques, considered to be a lost art, are experiencing a resurgence in popularity as top designers featured in trade publications are now highlighting them in their latest collections.

The exhibition is open to the public. For more information go online to



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