Handmade vintage clothes take the stage for heritage fashion show in Lacombe – LacombeOnline.com


The Lacombe Performing Arts Center was buzzing on Saturday May 7 for the first Heritage Fashion Show. The Lacombe Historical Society and the Center for the Performing Arts have teamed up to present the show featuring 20 models wearing clothing from the eras ranging from the 1860s to the 1920s.

Several faces of the community donned the yesteryear attire, including Lacombe Councilmen Cora Hoekstra, Thalia Hibbs and Scott Dallas, County Warden Barb Shepherd and several others.

Pieces of historic clothing were on display throughout the Lacombe Performing Arts Center including dresses, costumes, hats and other items. The models wore clothing created and designed by Anna Lenters, chair of the board of the Innisfail and District Historical Society and owner of Wren Originals. Not only did Lenters design most of the nightwear, but she also designed period clothing for the Michener House Museum and the Blacksmiths Shop in Lacombe.

Slowers says the 20 outfits took her about 10 years to sew. She learned to sew at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, but specializing in vintage styles took a bit of research.

“[I learned] looking at historical clothing by taking it, turning it around and looking at how it’s constructed, and then adapting it to the modern woman who has bigger bones,” said Lenters.

The women’s historical pieces on display were very small often mistaken for children’s sizes. Slowers says the short statures are likely due to malnutrition at the time.

“We are well fed. These people in the 1800s were not well fed. Their bone structure is stunted,” she explained.

Lacombe and District Historical Society executive director Melissa Blunden says special considerations are made for small rooms.

“One of our dresses is from 1910 and the waistline [is so small], we had to order a special mannequin just to fit this particular dress. Same for the 1875 dress, many people asked us if it was a child’s dress. No, it was a grown woman who was probably 4’10 or 4’11,” Blunden said.

In addition to smaller body sizes, life expectancy at this time was also much shorter, at around 50 to 60 years.

With the show, Slowers wanted to draw special attention to the role of women in family history and life. She provided information about the plays as well as a narrative for the show.

“I started thinking about women and their role in the family, their legal rights, their absence and their lack of identity. I hope I’ve talked about that,” she added. .

Thanks to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the event lasted two years, but Lacombe Performing Arts executive director Rosanna Kerekes was very pleased with how it turned out.

“It was such a unique event. The same thing has happened over and over again in the community for years. We kind of had this opportunity to change things up and change things up a bit. I think this is the perfect event to do that,” Kerekes said.

Proceeds from the event will be shared between the Lacombe and District Historical Society and the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre.

The Historical Society is looking forward to opening its blacksmith shop and Michener House museum the May long weekend. They also recently opened their residential school exhibit titled “Legacy of Hope” at the Flat Iron Building in Lacombe.

The Lacombe Performing Arts Center looks forward to providing more inclusive programming, including music for people with dementia and other summer programs. Kerekes is also looking forward to premiering a full season of Music in the Park this summer.


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