Texas Tech University

Oh My! Fashion Exhibit Opens at Museum of Texas Tech

Sarah Connell

July 1, 2016


The display shows the best in the collection of the evolution of fashion from necessity to luxury.


The Museum of Texas Tech University has opened a new exhibit, Hats and Purses and Shoes...Oh My!, which shows the evolution of fashion from utilitarian objects to works of art. More than 115 accessories were selected from more than 2,000 pieces in the museum's collection.

"Selecting only 115 accessories for the exhibit was a challenge with all the fabulous examples in the collection. The stories behind each object and the events to which they were worn are numerous," Marian Ann Montgomery, curator of clothing and textiles said.

The exhibit focuses on the functions and importance of the pieces and how each one is used differently in today's society. Several accessories date back to the mid-19th century, with the earliest coming from 1830s and the most recent from 1980s.


"It is fascinating to see the development of shoes from the high button boots that walked the dusty streets of West Texas before the advent of the automobile, to silk pumps embroidered in gold from Italy," said Gary Morgan, executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech.

Most fashion in earlier eras was geared toward protecting the body and carrying objects; Montgomery cited hats as an example. In the early 20th century, hats were an essential accessory for properly dressed women because of the fashionable silhouette they provided. The diminishing of importance of hats, other than the baseball caps, is dated to the 1970s with the development of a high headrest in cars.

The exhibit will be on display until Jan. 15.