St. Augustine, Fla. — Visitors to Flagler College’s Ponce Hall will be offered a more detailed glimpse into 19th century life with the college’s “Gilded Age Fashion Show,” an event showcasing the period garb with patterns from 1888, the year the Hotel Ponce de Leon opened.
“This gives the Theatre Arts department the chance to showcase the talent behind the scenes while creating a new exhibit for the historic tours,” said Samantha Palmer, Flagler College’s director of retail operations and historic tours.
The genesis for the project began when Palmer discussed with colleagues creative ways to promote the college’s historic tours during St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary celebration. An historic fashion show idea sparked interest and Palmer enlisted the help of Elaina Wahl-Temple, a Theatre Arts professor and the head costumer of the department, and five Theatre Arts students.
“We are building these costumes from scratch,” Wahl-Temple said. “We’re trying to show the public how the people of this time wore these clothes, especially the ladies.”
The clothes that will be exhibited are the kind that the wealthy visitors of the Hotel Ponce de Leon would have worn — layers upon layers of garments, such as pantaloons, corsets and bustles. Unlike today, people, especially of the upper class, would have changed several times daily. Both women and men’s clothing will be exhibited.
“One of my mentors has this huge empty home that is filled with all different types of fabrics,” Wahl-Temple said. “I asked him if I could go through it and collect some for this project, and he agreed.”
The collection will be unveiled September 4 in the Flagler College Rotunda, 74 King Street, at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and will be on display in the Flagler Room, beginningI’m September 12, as a part of the college’s historic tours. The September 4 fashion show is free and open to the public.
For information on Flagler College’s historic tours, visit http://legacy.flagler.edu/pages/tours.