Downton Abbey Fashions with KSU Fashion Museum Curator


Just in time for the return of the beloved PBS series Downton Abbey, the Hudson Library & Historical Society will host Kent State University Museum Curator and Assistant Professor Sara Hume on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.  Hume will discuss the timeline of fashions featured in the popular series, now in its fourth season.

Downton Abbey is set during World War I and its aftermath, which was a period of tremendous change in women's fashion.  From 1914 until 1918, the world faced war on a scale never before seen. In addition to the loss of millions of lives, this period saw tremendous technological, social and political upheaval. These profound changes led to a transformation in the way women dressed.

Increasingly called to work and contribute in numerous ways to the war effort, women made great strides towards equality. Gone were the cumbersome petticoats and rigid whalebone corsets and in their place were slim, clean lines and serviceable suits.

This talk will explore the changes in women’s lives during the first quarter of the 20th century, through a careful look at how they dressed featuring pieces from the Kent State University Museum collection. The objects examined will include not just dresses and suits, but also underwear, accessories and fashion plates.

The Kent State University Museum holds one of the most comprehensive collections of historical and contemporary costumes from the 18th century to the present. Ms. Hume’s research interests focus on the use of material culture, specifically clothing, in historical scholarship. She is also currently completing her PhD in Modern European History at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation examines the development and preservation of traditional or folk dress practices in Alsace in the face of pressure both from political conflict and mainstream fashion.

Hume also holds a BA in Art from Yale University and an MA in Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is currently organizing an exhibition "The Great War: Women and Fashion in a World Transformed." which examines the dramatic changes in fashion that occurred between 1914 and 1920. The exhibition is scheduled to open July 24, 2014 which coincides with the centennial of the outbreak of World War I.

Register for this free program at or call 330-653-6658 ext. 1010.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.