Restoring the Elizabeth Bull Wedding Gown
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM (EST)
Society members and guests are invited to a rare viewing of one of the first pieces of American haute couture: the elaborately and colorfully embroidered 1735 Elizabeth Bull wedding gown from the Bostonian Society museum collection, on display one night only at the Old State House!
Colonial-era school girls were in fact some of the first American fashion designers, keenly aware of European styles and adapting these styles to suit their purposes. They were given specific and detailed training on the intricate methods and hand-worked details we see in the design and construction of the Elizabeth Bull gown, similar to bridal couture today.
Miss Bull began designing, sewing, and embroidering her own China silk wedding gown while in school, a project undertaken by young women to practice and perfect the advanced needle arts. She had already been working on the gown for several years when, in 1734, she met Reverend Roger Price at Trinity Church. The gown was still not completed when Miss Bull wore it to their wedding the following year.
Now, thanks to a generous grant from the Stockman Family Foundation, the Bostonian Society has an opportunity to conserve this rare item. We are pleased to welcome noted textile conservator, Kathryn Tarleton, for an interactive discussion, revealing the intricacies of researching and conserving a 1730s-era wedding gown. Learn firsthand about Elizabeth Bull and the various ways that professional conservators are able to restore historic clothing to its former glory. Best of all, the actual dress will be on display just for the evening.
This event is open to the public. $15 non-members, $5 for members and students. Complimentary refreshments graciously provided by Boston Beer Company. Space is limited.