On Wednesday, April 13, we had a wonderful visit from author Rebecca Tuite, whose book Vassar Style: Fashion, Feminism and 1950s American Media will be published later this year. Ms. Tuite has been a wonderful source of information and enthusiasm on the subject of Vassar dress, and it was a delight to have her here in person!
Speaking to a group of at least a dozen students and faculty members, Ms. Tuite first introduced her research to those who were not already familiar with her work. She described her process at great length, answering questions about her approach to oral history, mass media, and dress. Each of us working on the exhibition for the sesquicentennial had questions for her about how her ladies from the 1950’s relate to the ladies we’re looking at in the earlier years. Certainly there are differences across time, but there are many common threads running through, especially when it comes to the themes we’ve been focusing on lately relating changes in dress to developments in education.
Our discussion certainly gave us all a great deal to think about as our research continues moving forward. We’re very grateful to Ms. Tuite for being so generous with her time and her thoughts!
(I must add that Ms. Tuite was also the bearer of many wonderful gifts – new donations to our collection, from some of the 1950’s alums she’s been in touch with. We’ll post more details about them soon!)