Vintage event shows more than clothing
September 2, 2010
The Vintage Tea and Style Show, on Sunday, Sept. 12, offers more than just tea, sandwiches, scones and a fashion show. It takes people back to Colorado’s history, while also illustrating how women became more empowered. And, as a bonus, it provides a reference for retro looks, in case you’re into vintage clothing.Volunteers from the community will model various fashions, from a wedding dress a resident of Bill’s Ranch wore in 1913, to a fun little Flapper’s dress or a formal, long wool coat. Bob French and Jim Nicholls will escort each woman onto the stage, where commentators will introduce the clothing and talk about some of the people who wore it. All of the wares come from the Summit Historical Society’s collection.”I think old-fashioned clothes have an appeal to everybody,” said volunteer Maureen Nicholls, who discuss the history of some of the clothes. “So many things were handmade. They weren’t bought at a store; everyone was a seamstress. We don’t see that very much anymore. Clothes are throwaways (now). (In the past), the quality of clothes was so much better; clothing was more of a sign of status that it is today.”One of the items Maureen Nicholls has been researching is an 1895 morning coat her husband, Jim, will wear. A woman who had lived in a Breckenridge home since the 1950s gave it to her 20 years ago. The coat, complete with tails, was definitely a status symbol, reserved for very wealthy people, Maureen Nicholls said. She always thought it belonged to Ezra Stewart, the superintendent of the Breckenridge school from 1896 to 1900.”But with history, we shouldn’t assume anything,” she said.Because when she went to press the coat, she found a broken up cigar (Breckenridge had a cigar factory) and another man’s name stitched into the coat, with the date, “1895.””I’m still thinking that since Ezra lived in the home in Breckenridge (where the coat was found), he wore it,” she said, adding that she’s continuing to research the item.Valerie Boerschinger, owner of Envy Salon in Frisco, is donating her time to style models’ hair to mimic whatever time period their clothing represents.”Vintage styles are coming back again, so it’s fun to look at (where they originated),” Boerschinger said, adding that styles usually imitate a past era. “(At the show) we’ll be able to see where the styles come from.”The variety of dresses also depicts how women have evolved. For example, in the late 1800s, fabric completely covered women. Then, the Flappers of the Roaring 20s began to show skin, representing how women were beginning to open up and express themselves – coinciding with women gaining the right to vote.”You can see it in the outfits,” Boerschinger said. “It’s how we pushed ourselves to be strong instead of hiding ourselves.”She added that the vintage show is perfect for “younger, artsy people and photographers into the art of (vintage clothing),” as well as people who enjoy history – and tea.