Victorian Fashion Undressed

Site Manager Marsha assists with Lara’s bustles.By Lara Garner, Fulton Mansion Educator

Last March, Fulton Mansion Volunteer Coordinator Sharron Flood had an idea. She came to me and said, “Remember the film we showed for our Fall Parlor Chat, ‘Victorian Fashion Undressed’? We could recreate that ourselves, you know!” The idea was in perfect timing with Women’s History Month, occurring in March.

And Sharron was right. The film, created by historic costume expert Carolyn Runnels, shows Carolyn dressed in her full Victorian lady’s costume, complete with all the accessories and accoutrements. She proceeds to take off her costume, layer by layer, explaining each piece from a practical, cultural, and historical standpoint. With permission from Lady Carolyn, we created our own adult education version of this program. Thus, Victorian Fashion Undressed, now one of our most popular programs, was born. By the end of this 30-minute program, participants have learned all the ins and outs of 1870s fashion with bustles and corsets galore!

Two women dressed in Victorian clothing.Since last year, we have enjoyed doing this program around town at clubs, RV parks for winter Texans, and assisted living and nursing home facilities. These opportunities have also given us a chance to assist in Fulton Mansion’s fundraising efforts.  Each time we present the program, we take our donation box with us and tell participants how they can be a part of the Mansion restoration. We have found that people have been very generous, and we are very appreciative.

Fulton Mansion is located in the resort area of Rockport-Fulton, 30 miles north of Corpus Christi. The site is part of the Texas Tropical Trail Region.

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