My Aunt Nona was beautiful, glamorous, and loved fashion. She and my Uncle (the Honorable Claudius Matthews) lived a pretty great life. When my uncle passed away (Aunt Nona had preceded him in death) there were a few dresses left in the closet. I contacted Phyllis Magedson [costume and textile curator] from The Museum of the City of New York, to see if they were interested in a few key pieces. One was a Malcolm Starr and the other Geoffrey Beene both dresses seemed to be from around the 70's and were in near perfect condition.
Taking the dresses to the Museum for examination was exciting. What would they say, would the dresses have a passing grade of historical value for the upcoming Mod exhibit? It was incredible to be taken into the storage area and watch the process. They got their gloves and pulled the dresses from the yellowed garment bags, Ms Magedson explained that the plastic garment bags were to be thrown OUT. Plastic garment bags can ruin otherwise perfect garments because of the chemical reaction to time and how it degrades, melting and attaching itself to the garment, which could be a problem. In this case I was lucky, there wasn't any of those issues.
Below is the documentation of the examination and delivery of the dresses.
Aunt Nona's Dresses from Cassandra Bromfield on Vimeo.
Delivering The Geoffrey Beene Dress from Cassandra Bromfield on Vimeo.
See more from MCNY Collection Portal
Below related videos
It takes a team at The Museum the the City of New York to dress a mannequin.
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