The Business of Dressmaking: Minnesota Couture 1880–1914

Nikon D2x capture

Linda McShannock

Learn about Minnesota Historical Society’s collection of couture dresses from Minnesota designers. In the nineteenth century custom dressmaking was one of the few socially acceptable professions for women, from immigrants to young farm girls to wives, and widows. Dressmaking establishments run and staffed primarily by women, provided creative labor, living wages, and career advancement opportunities for business women and skilled workers alike. In the late 1880s, Minnesota designers, following the lead of designers like Paris-based Charles Frederick Worth, began using sewn-in labels, ushering in the modern luxury brand. Minnesota couturieres, with connections to Paris and other fashion centers, furnished their clientele with styles that kept in step with tastemakers around the globe. Linda McShannock, retired curator at the Minnesota Historical Society, shares her years of research into this collection. These garments were recently featured in the exhibit The Art of High Style: Minnesota Couture 1880-1914 at Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Hear the behind the scenes story of what brought this research and exhibit together.


Date/Time: Thursday, February 13, 6:30-8:00 PM
Tuition: FREE with Registration ($5 Suggested Donation)



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