Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation will present a fashion exhibit titled “The Twenties: Virginian Women’s Fashion After the Great War” March 8 through April 26 in the main galleries of the Alexander Black House, 204 Draper Road SW in Blacksburg.
Admission is free. The exhibit’s hours are from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The ‘Roaring 20s’ was a time of flappers, bathtub gin, and the Charleston. Women of the time were removing their corsets, raising their hemlines, bobbing their hair, and fighting for their freedoms and the right to vote.
The social aftermath of a world war reduced the confines of the class system abroad and in the U.S. while a general feeling of novelty associated with modernity and a break with tradition swept across the country. Cultural shifts were brought about by technology of the mass-produced automobile, moving pictures, and cheap radio sets. These adjustments in popular taste were reflected in visual arts, music, literature, dance, and fashion.
Women began wearing chemise dresses that no longer defined their waists, but hung loosely from shoulder to knees. Costume jewelry became popular, along with sportswear designs, silk stockings, velvet, and furs. Rouged lips and an increased use of makeup were fashionable.
Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation in partnership with the Oris Glisson Historic Costume and Textile Collection at Virginia Tech will celebrate these cultural shifts with this fashion exhibit.
“The Oris Glisson Historic Costume and Textile Collection is excited to partner with the Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation, dedicating its main gallery space in the Alexander Black House to display women’s garments from the late 1910s and 1920s,” said museum curator Dina Smith-Glaviana, Assistant Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Design at Virginia Tech. “Not only will holding an exhibition off-campus make a selection of the collection’s holdings more accessible to the local community, but setting the exhibition in a historical and aesthetically pleasing venue will contribute to what we believe will be a very engaging historic clothing exhibition,”said Smith-Glaviana.