Milton Exhibit Showcases New England Fashions Through the Ages

Christian Dior Hat (c.1965) Feathers, sequins and buckram adorn this hat by Christian Dior New York, Inc. (in business 1949-present).

‘Head to Toe’ history of regional style at Eustis Estate

The Eustis Estate Museum and Study Center in Milton recently opened the exhibit “Head to Toe,” which showcases 46 hats and pairs of shoes worn in New England from the 1750s to the present. Often the most luxurious and decorative aspects of dress, hats and shoes reveal fascinating stories about social status and personal style. Whether attending a wedding, going to worship, or celebrating with friends, New Englanders dressed for the occasion. Stylish artifacts show New Englanders’ notions of glamorous dressing, including designer pillbox hats and custom-made boots, silk top hats and gold stiletto heels. Other exhibition highlights are boots worn during Boston’s Big Dig and a pair of Julia Child’s shoes.

”This exhibition combines fun, fashionable accessories with surprising details and rich context, which is what I love about Historic New England’s collection—the stories are as great as the objects,” says curator Laura Johnson. The exhibit also explores the creation of these fashion accessories and their effect on New England’s economy, workforce, and environment. The exhibition looks at how fashion influences our self-image and presentation, offering visitors multiple ways to consider each piece on display. Arranged thematically, the exhibition explores body image, gender identity, cultural appropriation and activism. The exhibition is on display through February 24, 2019. Admission is $15. 1424 Canton Ave., Milton, Mass.

Baby Shoes (1815-20) These little leather and linen booties were made by Martin Cushing of Boston (in business c.1800-c.1825).

Hat (c. 1960s) Crafted from wool, feathers, nylon and rhinestones, this hat was made by Yvonne Fecteau Comeau, a designer and retailer from Lawrence, Massachusetts (in business 1922-c. 1965).

Velvet/Rhinestone Shoes (1935-45) “Urbanites” shoes made of rayon, leather, glass and wood, designed by James Kean (in business c. 1940). Sold by Charles Sumner in Boston (in business c. 1930-1996).

Silk Shoes (1765-75) Stitched together with metallic thread, leather and wood, these shoes are by Boston designer Winthrop Gray (in business c. 1765 to 1781).

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