Pennypacker Mills to hold Victorian fashion exhibit

Ladies pink hat with flowers c. 1910. Courtesy of the Fashion Archives and Museum of Shippensburg University
Souvenir fan c. 1910. Courtesy of the Fashion Archives and Museum of Shippensburg University

Schwenksville, PA (January 13, 2014) – Beginning Saturday, February 1, 2014 visit historic Pennypacker Mills for an intriguing new exhibit, “Finishing the Look: Fashion Accessories of the Victorian and Edwardian Eras.” This new exhibit will focus on the frills of an outfit: the fancy hats, parasols, shoes, purses, and jewelry that would complete the proper attire for women of the time.

Women of the early 1900s were known for wearing elaborate hats with wide brims made of straw or wool and embellished with silk flowers or plumage and secured by hatpins with elements of fine jewelry. As the decade wore on, hats got smaller, but still were embellished. Purses were small and many were made from metal chain, covered with metallic or colorful glass beads, making them quite exquisite. Parasols were not only for protection from the sun, but were decorative and a fashion statement with ornate embroidered or printed fabric and intricate carved or inlaid handles. Although less conspicuous, stockings could also be embroidered and worn with shoes that had beading or elaborate buckles. Fans, gloves, and jewelry completed the look and reflected social status.

This new exhibit is included on all tours of Pennypacker Mills and runs through January 10, 2015. Don’t miss this chance to explore the exciting world of early 20th century fashion right here in Montgomery County!

Pennypacker Mills is open for free tours Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of ten or more should contact the site for a reservation. Located at 5 Haldeman Road in Schwenksville, PA, Pennypacker Mills is operated by the Montgomery County Department of Assets and Infrastructure. The site is open year-round for guided tours, educational programs, seasonal events, and changing exhibits. For more information, please call 610-287-9349 or visit the website at