While the women of Charleston may be happy that hoopskirts, bustles, and petticoats are a thing of the past (imagine wearing those in August), the Charleston Museum is bringing back classic haute couture with their original exhibition, Charleston Couture.

“These are all pieces with a Lowcountry connection,” says Charleston Museum event coordinator Rachel Chessler. Running from March 10- Nov. 4, the exhibit features more than 50 garments, from pleated silk gowns of the 1770s to velvet dresses worn by notable Charlestonian ladies in the 1930s.

Accessible only to a privileged few, many of the evening gowns to be displayed were purchased by members of the Charleston aristocracy while abroad, or custom-made by skilled local dress-makers. Historically significant to the city, the exhibit also “provides a great historical perspective to all of the fantastic designs coming out of Charleston Fashion Week,” Chessler says.


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