SU Fashion Archives displayed in Hanover, Pa.


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Not many students at Shippensburg University know about the Fashion Archives.

The basement of Harley Hall is actually home to one of the greatest collections of fashion on the East Coast.

With director Karin Bohleke at the helm, the SU Fashion Archives and Museum is well known throughout the country.

This is why for a special Titanic Fashions exhibit the Hanover Historical Society reached out to Bohleke to help people look inside what the world was like in the early 1900s.

I work and interned down in the Fashion Archives, and not just a history lover or a fashion expert would have enjoyed seeing what was on display in the Warehime-Myers Mansion in Hanover, Pa.
While I visited the SU Fashion Archives display, I was graciously taken on an informative tour by Mikele Stillman.

Stillman took me on an amazing look into the history of the mansion, and each individual exhibit throughout the tour.

I not only learned about the wedding dress of Lola Brindle and her husband Willis Shaeffer’s tuxedo, but we were given the back story of this couple.

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It was amazing to look into the clothes and picture the people who wore them, and the fact this woman chose to be a little practical in her blue silk satin dress.

I was told about the certain stitching in dresses that today some find hard to believe that they were done by hand.

It was amazing to hear that even with the technology we have now, people probably could not match the certain embroidery and styles of stitching in the white dresses.

It was nice to see the children’sclothes and learn that boys wore dresses when they were young to help with potty training.

I was told about the dress of Elizabeth Sheely who had a tragedy happen to her.
Only two weeks after her marriage her husband died on their honeymoon in Niagara Falls.
She wore an orchid dress of silk and had black velvet.

Then she showed us a corset that Martin jokingly told me I should not be allowed to see.
Many women would wear this for their weddings as a way to enhance their support. Stillman was able to inform us about every little detail no matter where we were at in the mansion.

She effortlessly conveyed each story in its own way and gave life to the clothing.
This was the best tour I have been on, and it was a fabulous exhibit. It was great to see SU work being displayed like it was.

For all the hard work Bohleke does down in the archives, students should be more aware of its significance.

Do not be afraid to stop by, visit and learn about something really amazing in your own backyard.


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