Monday, March 22, 2010

Heritage Square Museum models vintage fashion

The Carriage Barn at the Heritage Square Museum

Elizabethan couture shared a catwalk with 1700s-era California cowboy gear this Saturday at the Heritage Square Museum's Vintage Fashion Show and Tea.

The presentation, which showcased men's, women's and children's clothing, covered roughly 400 years of fashion and, in the process, offered up a bit of cheeky humor, courtesy of mistress of ceremonies Mitzi March Mogul.

Brace yourselves, gentlemen, she told the mostly female crowd when a model wearing an 1890s bicycling outfit hit the stage, "she's showing a bit of leg."

Luckily, Mogul added, "she's also wearing a pair of high-top boots to cover them up a little."

The focus of the show was on the silhouette, and it was fascinating to see how the actual size of a woman seemed to shrink over the years. Lots of fluff in the beginning transformed into the revealing and more fitted fashion we see today, or at least the 1960s, which is the era that concluded the show.

CC and I had never been to the museum before we were invited to Saturday's event. We've passed it many times, though, driving north on the 110 on our way to Pasadena. Heritage Square is nestled off to the side of the freeway (the Avenue 43 exit), and you can catch a glimpse of the Victorian-era village from the road -- albeit at 55-plus miles per hour.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and CC was able to explore the grounds while also taking in the pretty dresses and yummy tea that followed. The eight structures that make up the museum were constructed in the late 19th century and offer a glimpse into Southern California's past. Facing demolition, according to the museum Web site, the buildings were saved in 1969 by prominent Angelenos, who banded together with the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board to create Heritage Square.

It's a lovely area and a place that's also child-friendly. The open spaces allow for running and exploring, and the buildings themselves are inviting. CC even encountered a resident rooster and his Heritage companion, a quick, black hen.

After tea, catered by Mary Suzanne Martinez and The Loose Teas Cafe, we had to head back home for nap time, so we weren't able to go inside and visit the Vintage Fashion Display inside the William Perry Mansion.

We will definitely be back, however. The museum is a real hidden delight.

Upcoming events include:

* L.A. Heritage Day (Sunday, April 11, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.) Historical societies and museums from all over Southern California present their communities and Los Angeles' heritage.

* A Child's Friend: A Look at Vintage Dolls (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, April 23-May 23, 12 p.m.-4 p.m.) The history of doll-making during the Victorian era.

Heritage Square Museum
3800 Homer St.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

Admission: Adults ($10); Seniors 65+ ($8); Children ($5); Children under age 6 (Free)

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