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High Fashion and Local Flavor The Piscataqua Decorative Arts Society Lecture Series

High Fashion and Local Flavor The Piscataqua Decorative Arts Society Lecture Series

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Published by Kimberly Alexander
On September 24th, Astrida Schaeffer, costume historian and founder of Schaeffer Arts, will give a lecture entitled:
“High Fashion, Local Flavor: 19th Century Women’s Social Positioning Through Dress in Seacoast, New Hampshire.”
On September 24th, Astrida Schaeffer, costume historian and founder of Schaeffer Arts, will give a lecture entitled:
“High Fashion, Local Flavor: 19th Century Women’s Social Positioning Through Dress in Seacoast, New Hampshire.”

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Published by: Kimberly Alexander on Aug 20, 2013
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08/23/2013

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 High Fashion and Local Flavor 
On September 24
th
,
Astrida Schaeffer
, costume historian and founder of
Schaeffer Arts, will give a lecture “High Fashion, Local Flavor: 19
th
Century
Women’s Social Positioning Through Dress in Seacoast, New Hampshire.” ThePiscataqua Decorative Arts Society is holding this lecture at the Stoodley’s
Tavern on Hancock Street across from the Tyco Center at Strawbery BankeMuseum in Portsmouth, NH. The lecture starts at 5:30pm, preceded byrefreshments at 5pm. The cost to the general public is $10.00, while members arefree.Clothes have been an emblem for real and aspired-to social status for as long aspeople have worn them, but among those with few means the ability to usefashion to shape perception was fairly limited until the Industrial Revolution. Anumber of factors came together in the late 19
th
century that put the power of
 
self-presentation squarely in the hands of women as never before. Access to newtechnologies, current information and the dissemination of new skills gavewomen all they needed to turn dress into social statement. The 1879s homemade
dress of Celestia Freeman, a mill overseer’s wife from Somersworth, NH is the
centerpiece of this exploration of how a woman could make the clothes that
could “make the woman.” Freeman’s dress was recently featured in an
exhibition drawing on the Irma Bowen Textile Collection at the University ofNew Hampshire.Astrida Schaeffer has been making reproduction historical clothing for 27 years.
Her master’s degree in History c
ame through researching over fifty survivingFederal period dresses for her thesis topic at UNH. In the fall of 1999 she began
work on UNH’s textile collection and, in the process of selecting garments for an
exhibition Schaeffer participated in a mannequin workshop at the Textile HistoryConservation Center in the American Textile History Museum in Lowell,Massachusetts. Besides her talent as seamstress, researcher, guest curator andassistant director of the UNH Museum of Art (2001-2010), Astrida is an author
and her book “Embellishment: Constructing Victorian Details”, based on the
UNH Museum Collection, will be available.The Piscataqua Decorative Arts Society is a non-profit organization with amission to promote original historical research resulting in publication. Theprimary focus is on greater Piscataqua region of New Hampshire and Mainewith connecting links to Massachusetts and beyond. For more information, checkthe web site(www.pdasociety.org) 

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