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Carondelet Historical Society Project

I’ve had the chance to photograph most of the donated clothing in the Carondelet Historical Society’s collection. I try to style and shoot models authentic to the historical era of fashion that they’re wearing, as well as taking more straightforward pictures to showcase details in the clothing.

1935 BridesMaid Dress

1935 BridesMaid Dress

This entry is part 3 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

This mesh dress came labeled “Bridesmaid dress from M___’s 1935 wedding”. It’s classic! The dress was blue mesh over a dark blue slip. Not using it in the 1930s wedding recreation was a mistake, but I was afraid the colors were too dark in comparison to the other dresses. Sometimes I make mistakes, and this was still just about 6 months into my adventures in teaching myself vintage styling and photography!

1940s Style Pinup

1940s Style Pinup

This entry is part 2 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

This 1940s dress was such fun to photograph! It has red buttons down the front and an abstract polka dot pattern. I put a smart black hat on the model. Like many dresses of the era, it was unlined and meant to be worn over a slip or under=dress. We borrowed a rolling red wooden storage box as the only prop with this simple set. I love the model’s exaggerated “cheesecake pinup” expressions! She did her own makeup and hair, too.

1920s Plus Sized Flapper Dress

1920s Plus Sized Flapper Dress

This entry is part 6 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

It was very fun to photograph this green plus sized 1920s dress! SO many times, surviving dresses from this era are petite. I’m not sure why, because plus sized women surely existed in the 1920s. I am guessing that clothing got re-purposed during the Great Depression, and worn longer. A dress made with lots of fabric could be repurposed more than a more narrow dress with just 16 inches or so across the front. I am not sure what I did with it, but I did come across one “plus sized” dress (which I sold) which was clearly hemmed from drop waist to the more fashionable natural waist of the 1930s.

Anyway, it’s always fun playing dress up!

White Edwardian Lace Dress on Andrea

White Edwardian Lace Dress on Andrea

This entry is part 7 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

It’s hard to beat that 1930s look, but Andrea fit this lace 1910s dress perfectly (and without a corset!). She looked so proper. I love the horizontal stripes of different lace on this dress, and it buttoned properly up the back. We just shot simple studio pictures to capture the details in this delicate Edwardian lace dress. She would have been right at home reading The Modern Priscilla!

Green 1930s cape

Green 1930s cape

This entry is part 19 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

What a lovely cape! I am sure the woman who originally wore this in the 1930s must have loved it. It was wool and extra large. I posed the retro model outdoors in a variety of settings, because it was so pretty! I especially love the pictures of the green cape against the green brick. I think these photos make for a timeless fashion editorial spread.

Outdoors Photos of the Black French Lace World’s Fair Dress

Outdoors Photos of the Black French Lace World’s Fair Dress

This entry is part 18 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

The model and I decided to make a quick drive to Carondelet Park. I love these photos of the black French Lace dress even more than the studio photos! It was so easy to get caught up in taking pictures, with the perfect weather and perfect fashion. We shot in the Carondelet Boathouse, on the fishing dock, and under the columned spaces in front. I especially like the portraits with the Carondelet Boat House behind the model. Even with minimal editing, they look totally turn of the century.

Studio Pictures of the 1904 Worlds Fair Dress

Studio Pictures of the 1904 Worlds Fair Dress

This entry is part 17 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

This was supposedly a French Lace dress worn to the 1904 World’s Fair. It’s hard to see how it fit, or what the original owner’s size was. Was she petite and the lace draped, or was she a larger woman? Black lace makes for classic styling and photos, any way! The lace was still in amazing condition, but it was literally falling apart at the seams. Here are the first studio photos I shot of that dress.

WWII WAC Uniform on Zizi

WWII WAC Uniform on Zizi

This entry is part 11 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

Zizi V. totally owned the WWII WAC uniform. She was my third and last model to wear it. My first retro shoot with Anita had all the awkwardness of a first-time (everything), which made for very authentic emotions. With this third shoot in the WAC uniform, I was more confident and explored beyond the studio to the front room and outdoors (where the natural light was perfect). We played more with the set, even in the studio, and the pictures just turned out different. I think that the outdoor and natural light photos turned out looking like 1940s era snapshots and candids.

Jaslene’s vintage Pinup Style shoot

Jaslene’s vintage Pinup Style shoot

This entry is part 12 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

It’s interesting to see how many ways the WAC Uniform was modeled by the models I shot in 2011! Besides the WAC uniform, I also photographed Jaslene wearing a feathered hat from the 1960s, and in a traditional costume that she’d brought along to our shoot. It was fun and good times. I really like the 1960s hat best, her expressions totally made it sparkle.

1880s going away dress outside

1880s going away dress outside

This entry is part 23 of 23 in the series Carondelet Historical Society Project

Once I had the model in this 1880s bustle dress, I didn’t want to let her out! The weather was SO pretty outside that we decided to go take some fashion photos at Carondelet Park. The boathouse at Carondelet Park, although originally built in 1918, and the concrete pergolas (built in the 1930s), made for perfect a perfect set to go with this 150+ year old dress.

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