Monday, November 15, 2010

In the Texas Panhandle …

This weekend was a trip up to NW Okieland for a quick visit with Britgal Sarah and hubster.  They drove us over into a whole 'nuther country, otherwise known as the Texas panhandle.  And let me just say this trip was full of surprises and one big huge small world story.

First up.  The Citadelle.  A former Baptist church turned home for an eccentric local family.  The family has moved elsewhere in town and has deeded over this house for a local art museum.  So we stopped in.  OMG, what a surprise this was to see first up as we walked in the door.

Ball gowns!  Colonial Ball Gowns!   We were in Scarlett O’Hara heaven!


Now, I’m by no means a frilly girl, but Lord-have-mercy, what I wouldn’t give to have an opportunity to pull on one of these numbers.  The docent was sure to let us know that these dresses probably weigh as much as 50 pounds each.  Am pretty sure it was at least 50 pounds.  Ah-may-zing.

(Correction after consulting their website:  The dresses weigh in at 80 pounds)




Look at the detail on the back of this thing.  Yowza.  Everytime I look at these pics, I decide on a new favorite dress.


The dresses were made for the Society of Martha Washington Colonial Pageant and Ball in Laredo, Texas.   And they are generally worn by 17 year old girls.  Because no one else has a waist that small!



Excuse me – but is not the above dress the very epitome of Scarlett at the BBQ supper over to Twelve Oaks? 


More soon, I promise.  The small world story still has me reeling.


Pam said...

PS -and yes I realize that Scarlett was Civil War ball gown fashion, not Colonial ball gown. But really, makes no difference to me ... I dare anyone to walk into that room and not be taken straight at the BBQ ready to throw a vase at Rhett Butler!

carmar76 said...

LOL those are all very pretty - but 80 lbs?!! craaaazy! clothes should not weigh that much!

faj9778 said...


K9 said...

the dark red one is my favorite. amazing works of art. no wonder old timey ladies fainted all the time

Buzz Kill said...

That's more weight than most combat soldiers carry. But they don't look as nice.

Chicky - when they got the vapors, now you know why.

fishy said...

Smashing post!
Loved the detail in the close ups , my favorite is the bright turquoise. Definitely fabulous wearable art like Chicky says.
80 pounds seems a bit extreme but
those dresses have layers, each layer yards of fabric and then there are those beads.

Buzz'z comparison makes one wonder if there should be a scouting badge for learning how to dance with and revive a date wearing one of these gowns.

moi said...

How in the heck is a gal supposed to get in her Dodge Challenger and chase zombies in one of those outfits? Uh, uh, no thanks. At least I can breathe in my four inch heels. And take them off in a jiffy if I need to run.

Aunty Belle said...

good gracious! Fabulous works of art--take that Project Runway!!

Gotta wonder if they had back door hatches, ahem!

80 pound dress on a 102 pound girl--cause them's the only ones wif 17 inch waist. But I doan beleive fer a minute that no true belle would eat BBQ in those gowns--no chance they'd risk spoilnin' all that beauty wif' a smear of sauce.

Great fun fun post.

Aunty Belle said...

Oh wait--Pam OKC, meat to say heck yes, let's do a blogger road trip an map out our own BBQ route...

Boxer said...

My head is spinning! I want to try them all on. What an amazing collection of history and with only black and photos of the past, the colors and vibrancy is just blowing me away. Wow. Do you have more? Post them!!!

Boxer said...

bwahahahaha to Moi.

Pam said...

To Everyone: The dresses aren't necessarily vintage or antique pieces. I believe they were designed for certain people to wear in this Martha Washington event in Laredo, Texas, and so this is probably several years worth of dresses for that event. There were definitely photos on the walls of girls wearing the dresses, so I will look to see if I caught anything to show them actually in use. The docent told me that it took four people to lift each dress over the mannequin forms for display. These are indeed beautiful works of art. We were so speechless when we walked in and saw them, it was a totally unexpected moment.

Boxer said...

but they are replicas, correct? So, it's like history has returned.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Yes I can vouch for them being truly breathtaking in person, as Pam said I would kill to fit in one!

Karl said...

Good afternoon Pam,

Walking with that kind of weight in boots is hard enough. Sashaying around the dance floor in heels is herculean.

It sure would be neat to have the opportunity to lead one of those dresses around the dance floor.

Anonymous said...

One of those dresses is mine :) best year of my life!