In January, at the invitation of Marie deGeorge, artist and couture fashion designer, three groups of TASA members toured the extraordinary exhibits at the Savannah School of Art and Design, SCAD, FASH: “Threads of History: Two Hundred Years of Fashion” and “Embellished: Adornment Through the Ages.”
Rafael Gomez, curator of the exhibit, led the tours. He explained the historical context of the dresses and adornment objects– shoes, hats, jewelry, and other items–as well as the construction materials and the unintended consequences of many of the extreme dress fashions for women: skirts catching fire, dangerous falls, re-alignment of body organs, radiation poisoning, difficult child births, etc.
Rafael also explained how in order for SCAD to exhibit the historic dresses properly, each dress required its own individually carved mannequin.
SCAD student docents accompanied the tours. Using iPads, the students showed pictures that gave additional contextual information to the objects on display.
Following the formal tour, Rafael took the TASA groups into the working room where he showed costumes that were not put on exhibit, reproduction corsets and antique fashion design books.
The low light to protect the textiles, the black framed exhibition niches, and the extensive diorama presentations of the dresses augmented with historically accurate accessories made for a thoroughly dramatic and beautiful complimentary set of exhibitions.