Fashionable Friday

Here is another feature from the History of Costume collection! This time we have an example of costuming from the 16th century (presumably England). These fashion cards come from just one folder of the collection, and cover ancient Egyptian fashion through 17th century European.

An example of 16th-century fashion. RS 12/10/5, Box 1, Folder 4.

An example of 16th-century fashion. RS 12/10/5, Box 2, Folder 4.


Click here to download and print the page – happy coloring!

Please share what you’ve colored! Tag #ColorOurCollections #ISU_Archives

CyPix: Winter dresses of 1920

"Winter Dresses." A selection from the Mary A. Barton Collection of Fashion Illustrations (RS 21/07/009)

“Winter Dresses” from The Designer, January 1920. Part of the Mary A. Barton Collection of Fashion Illustrations (RS 21/07/009)

When I woke up this morning, the news stations were reporting that with the windchill, it was 9 °F outside. I don’t know about you, but the stylish winter fashions above don’t look nearly warm enough!

The image above, and others like it, are available online in the Fashion Plates digital collection.

Check out the following to see some of the other fashion-related collections held at the Iowa State University Special Collections and University Archives Department:

CyPix: S-t-r-e-t-c-h pants!

Students modeling their new stretch pants after creating them in Jane Saddler's class, 1964. Click to see the whole sheet of photographs. (University Photographs RS 12/10, box 1013)

Click to see more.

So “stretch pants” may not be an exciting phrase nowadays, but when the photos at left were taken, spandex had only recently come on to the market. Joe Shivers, a chemist at DuPont, invented “Fiber K” in 1958. Fiber K was the first spandex (an anagram of “expands”) and quickly became a replacement for nylon and rubber fabrics due to its capability to expand dramatically while retaining the ability to return to its original size.[1]

The women at left are demonstrating the stretching capabilities of clothing made in the new spandex fabrics after creating them in Jane Saddler’s class in the Iowa State University Department of Textiles and Clothing (now the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design programs). Make sure you click on the picture to see the students creating their pants.

Learn more about textiles and clothing courses, as well as textiles research, in the RS 12/10 collections.

At left: Students modeling their new stretch pants, 1964. (University Photographs RS 12/10, box 1013)

[1] David Grant Caplan. “History of Stretch Fabrics: Pulling at Stretch Fibers’ Roots.” WWD 181, no. 117 (Jun 12, 2001): 10.

CyPix: Spring Fashions

March is here, and so are spring clothing lines!

As Apparel, Merchandising, and Design majors get ready for The Fashion Show next month, let’s take a look at an earlier ISU fashion moment.

Three women students ca. 1940 work in a Textiles and Clothing classroom decorated by bulletin boards showing current fashions. Two are working with a striped fabric and a small manequin or dress form: one is draping and the other appears to be cutting. The third is working with a pencil on a small drawing board.

Three women students work in a Textiles and Clothing classroom circa 1940. RS 12/10.

Here are three students in a 1940s Textiles and Clothing classroom working on a dress design. Two students drape and cut fabric on a small mannequin, while a third works at a drawing board.

Textiles and Clothing has a long history at ISU. Sewing classes were first introduced in 1879 as part of the Domestic Economy curriculum. In 1924, the Department of Textiles and Clothing was established. In 2001, the department was combined with the departments of Family and Consumer Science Education and Studies, and Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management to form the Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management. The Fashion Show grew out of the annual style show presented by the Textiles and Clothing Club during VEISHEA.

We have a number of resources for the (historical) fashionista! More photographs of Textiles and Clothing students can be found in the photo set on our Flickr page. We have many collections related to the Department of Textiles and Clothing (RS 12/10) in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Also, check out the finding aid for the Textiles and Clothing Fashion Show Records (RS 29/2/4). And be sure to take a look at the fascinating Fashion Plates Digital Collection.