The Impossible Ideal: Victorian Fashion and Femininity


Episode 85: Today I talk with Andrea Rosen at The Fleming, at the University of Vermont. She tells me all about The Impossible Ideal exhibition. She tells us how the beautiful fashions of the Victorian era were a form of misogyny. This exhibition will be up until December 15, 1018


LEFT: Ball Gown, about 1860. Cream moiré silk taffeta with floral damask, trimmed with green silk satin, cream bobbin lace, and embroidered ribbon. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Falls 1960.20.43 RIGHT: Suit-Style Two-Piece Dress, about 1895. Black and red silk with red silk and white lace. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Thomas, Terrill Hall Collection 1987.11.570.


Dress worn by Ellen Miller Johnson, Class of 1878, for her graduation from UVM, 1878. Blue changeable silk with mother-of-pearl buttons and white net.
Gift of L. Douglas Meredith 1960.2


Boots, about 1910
Wichert & Co., New York (active about 1900-1920s)
Leather and wool gabardine
Gift of Mrs. Frederick P. Smith and Mrs. Frank H. Davis 1968.5.16


Joseph Ives Pease (1809-1883)
“Godey’s Paris Fashions Americanized” in Godey’s Lady’s Book, April 1849. Hand-colored engraving.
Museum collection 1975.23.6 LA




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Philadelphia In Style: A Century of Fashion

Episode 17  :  Today I chat with Dr. Kirsten Jensen, Ph.D. of the Michener Art Museum, in Pennsylvania about the Philadelphia In Style exhibition. We talk all about how fashion, as well as accessibility to fashion has evolved through the years.


michener shoe

Hook & Knowles (England, 1850–c.1930s), Shoes, c. 1918, Polychrome silk brocade with silver kid, crystal, and metal,Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, Drexel
University, Gift of Mrs. Upton Sullivan, Photo by Michael J.Shepherd



Richard Tam (American, 1941-1990),Dress (detail), c. 1968, Silk Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, Drexel University, Gift of Mrs. Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Purchased at NanDuskin. Photo by Michael J. Shepherd


Tribout Shop, John Wanamaker, Hat, c. 1960, Wool, silk, Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, Drexel University, Anonymous donor. Photo by Michael J. Shepherd
All images  used with permission.