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Fashion History Talk Sparks Nostaligia

Bruce Museum was a fashionista's dream Wednesday at the third lecture highlighting changing American fashion as a supplement to the "Dressmaker's Art" exhibit currently on display.

"We were following the lecture series [on the] dressmaking process and how it's changed and how some of the things we see in the collection from 1820s to the 1920s and now we see some of the designs that are coming back," said Greenwich resident Sheila Goldfarb.

The lecture, "Reinventing Glamour: American Fashion, 1960-Today" was presented by Colleen Hill, assistant curator at the Museum at FIT in New York. Hill deconstructed the technically innovative work of 20th century designers and how they were translated into the mainstream.

"These designs we are very familiar with because we were very much a part of the fashion scene of this particular period from the 1940s up to the present day," said Marcia Powers, a Greenwich resident. "We were fashionistas of the '50s, '60s and '70s."

"And you still are!" said her friend Jane Malakoff laughing. Hill discussed the transition to casual sportswear with ready-to-wear designers like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Hill conversely highlighted designers such as Bonnie Cashin, Norman Norell, Giorgio di Sant'Angelo and Halston.

"I still have a Halston dress in my closet and I had a Sant'Angelo dress and I had a Bonnie Cashin suit and I gave it all away," said Powers. "Who knew that these would become fashion icons?"

The lecture concluded with a tour of “Dressmaker’s Art,” featuring twenty-four elegant gowns from the 1820s to the 1920s. The show runs through September 5. Bruce Museum is located at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich. For more information on the exhibit visit www.brucemuseum.org .

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