This year for our summer exhibition we asked, “What is Bowen style?” We received an array of answers. It’s colourful and classic, handmade or hand-me-down, recreational wear made into a fashion statement. It’s mixing practical attire with the latest fashions- such as gumboots and faux fur, or silk patches on gardening shirts.
On display in this exhibit are some pieces from the early 20th Century that have been expertly preserved, such as a wedding dress, a wool bathing suit, and christening gown. But, we also have some more recent pieces. We’re always in the process of creating history and if you peek into the “Bowen’s Own” section you’ll see some things from your neighbours or maybe even from yourself.
One Bowen fashion trend we discovered is the hand-me-down, often facilitated by the Knick Knack Nook. It’s said if you donate something to the Nook you’re bound to see it again soon on one of your neighbours.
The exhibit features two items from the Nook. One is a ZIMBLE sequin bomber, picked up from the Nook by Angie MCulloch and given to Maggie Davison, who loaned it to us. At our opening reception, one visitor informed us the original donor was herself thus completing the story of the jacket’s journey.
The other piece, a Spencer & Alexis cream two-piece ensemble, was also picked up by Angie MCulloch. Last year Angie found the top at the Nook and this year she found the matching skirt to complete the outfit. We’ve been doing some detective work trying to figure out who the original donor was. All tips are appreciated.
Fashionably Bowen: Island Style runs until September 26 and stay tuned for our fall exhibit, opening on October 18. We’re staying with the fashion theme and will be looking at dress codes on Bowen. In that exhibit we’ll be examining the formal dress codes, such as work and organizational uniforms, and the unwritten dress codes. The Bowen fashion faux pas.
It’s an even bigger question, so once again we need your help. If you have any ideas about Bowen dress codes or have any objects or stories you’d like to share about your own uniforms, please stop by or give us a call.