“Dressing in the Dakotas” shares history of fashion at ND Heritage Center

“Creating that look for that person based on the silhouette, based on the cut of that time period helps to transfer an audience and an actor to that particular audience,” said North Dakota costume designer Michelle Renner.

Dressing up for the occasion is something Renner is teaching an audience within the North Dakota Heritage Center and the State Museum.

“When you say I’m going to do something in the 1890s, there is a specific aspect that is different from the 1990s,” Renner said.

Renner had chosen ten dresses to show, with a fashion that dates back centuries.

“The Hudson’s Bay jacket was the late 1770s, then we have the 1800s and 1900s,” Renner said.

Models dressed in dresses to make the trend as real as possible.

“From the fact that I did some theatrical stuff, I thought I would make that costume my character,” gallery interpreter Tom Chase said.

With technology at his fingertips, Renner said that fashion has changed over the years in the way it is chosen and ordered.

“We don’t have to go to the local department store and what they choose for us to wear is what we can buy. We can go to the Internet and have thousands and millions of choices, “Renner said.

Renner adds that dressing in the 21st century is more relaxed and casual than before.

“Particularly before the 20th century, men and women of higher rank had a wardrobe that included changing two or three times a day,” Renner said.

The exhibition will remain on display until the end of November.

The museum will have people dressed in vintage clothing to bring fashion to life every Tuesday and Thursday of this month.


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