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Virtual fashion exhibit to explore overlooked first lady designers and seamstresses

By Rachel Douglass

28 Jun 2022

Culture

Image: The White House Historical Association

A new virtual fashion exhibit by The White House Historical Association has launched, exploring the overlooked designers and seamstresses for the US’ first ladies.

The ‘Glamour and Innovation: The Women Behind the Seams of Fashion at the White House’ exhibit comes as a result of an inaugural academic partnership with New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

Throughout the online display, viewers can explore a diverse group of eight women who each designed for first ladies of both US parties. Archival photography, portraits, biographies and press clippings cover over a hundred years of history, beginning with Mary Lincoln’s dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley.

The exhibit was created by MA/MS Costumes Studies student Maegen Jenkins, the association’s first Digital Exhibit fellow.

The partnership, which began in January, is set to continue into 2023, with the second fellow to be chosen next year.

Exhibition
The White House Historical Association