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Museum displays vintage frocks

Volunteer docent Carla Lambertson, of Oxford, stands between two dresses from 1835 (left) and 1953 that are part of a display at the Northeast Oakland Historical Museum. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
June 09, 2010 - Fans of vintage clothing will be excited to learn there's an assortment of antique dresses on display at the Northeast Oakland Historical Museum in downtown Oxford.

"A good half of them are wedding dresses, but they're really not what you would think would be wedding dresses," said Carla Lambertson, a volunteer docent at the museum. "The colors, the styles – they're not the traditional long, fluffy dresses of today."

Ranging from 1835 to 1953, the 12 dresses – on display at the 1 N. Washington St. museum now through the end of July – reflect the ever-changing tastes and styles of women's fashion during the Victorian Era, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression and the Baby Booming 1950s.

"They were all donated to the museum through the years and most of them have just been stored away," said Lambertson, noting she thought June would be the perfect time for this display given it's the traditional wedding month.

One of pieces, a 1953 blue taffeta wedding dress with black velvet hat and purse, was purchased from the old Doris K shop, which used to be located in downtown Oxford.

Another of the dresses, a 1927 flapper-style frock, was actually worn in the 1970s as a wedding dress.

Lambertson's favorites are a wine-colored satin suit from 1835 and a cream challis and lace dress from 1888.

"They're fabulous, just beautiful," she said.

The Northeast Oakland Historical Museum is open from 1-4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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