Formal studio portrait, hand-tinted, colorized photograph of Ella Higginson in a blue dress, wearing a black feather boa and blue flowers on her hat. Year ?
Bellingham Babes, Images of Fashional Women of Bellingham's Past
Full length studio portrait of Adele Grey Loggie. She wears a lace-trimmed dress, flower trimmed hat and carries a large bouquet of roses. 1914. Photographer Theodore A. Brown
Bellingham has, the the last several decades, had a history of being a "casual" place, with people dressed for comfort and the enjoying the great outdoors.
People tend to dress in the way that is embraced by their culture. Today, you see MANY Bellinghamsters in Birkenstocks and zip-away hiking pants. But back in the day...when Bellingham was a burgeoning community, looking to score as much respect as a "going concern" as it could, it was the city fathers' and mothers' duty to put forward a modern, stylish and presentable personna.
A quick trip to the Whatcom Museum Archives showed me that there have been many beautifully and stylishly dressed women who did their utmost to present that personna.
One look at this exhibit tells you that there are many beautiful and talented women in Bellingham's past. We're lucky to have a few images of them here.
I scanned the photos from the archives and printed them on cotton muslin (much against my copiers' cooperation). Then I pinned them to the back of a series of denim vests and jackets. I like how the fancy dress of the photos contrasts to the casual style of the iconographic denim jacket. The safety pins - well, they add just a little "punk" frisson.
Thanks to Molly Chambers and Karin Mueller for their help with this exhibit. It wouldn't have made it up onto the walls without you!