Historic Habiliment

The touring exhibit, American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, is bringing bits of St. Louis around the country, as the majority of the attire on display is from the Missouri History Museum's collection. Shannon Meyer, senior curator, explains that each venue receives different attire, as historical clothing should only be displayed for three or four months at a time.

Currently displayed with the St. Louis exhibit are a variety of mid-1920s pieces, including three flapper-style dresses, a tuxedo, a pair of women's jeweled heels, a top hat and more, says Meyer.

"Since I had to do two or three dresses for each venue, I tried to pick out ones [for the exhibit at the Missouri History Museum] that I thought would be best for our visitors," Meyer says. "At the opening, I thought that everybody would go crazy over the pink dress because it's heavily beaded…but most people were drawn to the black dress, which is more simple. They're all very beautiful, very different; I tried to get a range of styles."

When not on display, the clothing is kept in one of the Missouri History Museum's temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms. Meyer explains that heavy items, such as the beaded dresses, are stored flat in drawers to avoid the weight of the garment ruining the shoulders. Sturdier items are stored on padded hangers.

The exhibit will be on display at the Missouri History Museum through Aug. 17.

Don't Say Goodbye Yet!

Beloved St. Louis shop Melanie's will not be closing its doors, after all. In an email Melanie Bascom told customers, "I couldn't do it. Melanie's is not closing…Instead, I am happy to let you know that we are going to spruce up the store with a new, younger attitude and spirit. But please know it will remain the Melanie's we all love…" Good news, Melanie's!

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