Fashion museum laces up for new exhibit

Kristen Kotz

Mannequins display the lace dresses that are on display at the Fashion museum. The exhibit will run until January 2008. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

A new exhibit on lace will be opening at the Kent State Fashion Museum tomorrow.

The exhibit consists of about 70 pieces of lace from different historical eras.

“Right after the museum opened Shannon Rodgers did a lace exhibit,” said Jean Druesedow, the fashion museum director. “We have not shown laces for about 16 years, so we thought it was time to do it again.”

The earliest piece is a late 16th century needle-lace sleeve cuff. It is made with a button-hook stitch using needle and thread. A button-hook stitch is a looped-stitch typically used to attach buttons.

The wedding dress of local woman Evangeline Davey is on display in the exhibit. She is the daughter of Martin Davey, the founder of Davey Tree Company in Kent. Evangeline wore the dress in October 1935. It is a long sleeve, ankle-length dress made completely from lace.

Lace shawls from the early 1900s are also on display. Pieces of blond lace, which is made from silk, can be seen in some of the dresses on display and as individual pieces.

Pulled thread work is another type of lace that can be seen. In this type of stitching, the individual threads are not removed, but squeezed into place by decorative pieces, Druesedow said.

A dress from the early 1900s shows the use of lace appliqu‚s. These are individual pieces of fabric that are shaped and sewn on a foundation fabric to design a pattern. Bobbin-lace cloth work from the 18th century is also on display. This type of work is made with a bobbin and thread. The bobbins are twisted or braided around another to make this type of cloth.

One unique piece in the exhibit is a lace lappet. It is a headdress that is used to cover the ears. It is than pinned up with some sort of decoration.

A chemical lace collar can also be on display. This is a modern process where cotton or linen is embroidered on silk and then dissolved with a chemical solution.

People will gain an appreciation for the amount of work that went into the lace, Druesedow said.

“Those really beautiful pieces look so light and soft,” she said. “Yet each one took hours and hours of very great skill.”

The pieces from the exhibit all came from the museum’s collection. Some of the pieces were from the original gift given to the museum, while others were more recently donated.

The exhibit will be on display until January 2008. The Fashion Museum is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. The museum is also open on Sundays from noon to 4:45 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for students and children 7 to 18. Kent State students and faculty with ID, children under 7 and general admission on Sunday are all free.

Contact fashion reporter Kristen Kotz at [email protected].