David E. Lazaro, Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Wadsworth Atheneum, discusses “Something Old and Borrowed?: 18th-Century Silk Wedding Dresses in New England.”
The talk highlights a group of 18th-century gowns made from drawloom-woven silks that have histories of ownership to New England women. What becomes clear is that these garments were not new at the times of the ascribed weddings, and many exhibit signs of alterations years after the wedding dates. The reasons behind these unexpected discoveries are contextualized within 18th-century fashion history and more modern ideas about family heirlooms.
David E. (Ned) Lazaro is the Curator of Textiles at Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He holds a master’s degree in fashion and textile history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ned has researched, lectured, published, and taught on various aspects of Western clothing and textiles from the 17th through 20th centuries. His interests focus on design history, the aesthetics of fashion, and identity formation.