Colorado State Offers First-Hand Look at Historic Clothing

More than 10,000 clothing artifacts– everything from a chain mail shirt to a rhinestone bra–will be open for exploration this month as Colorado State University offers tours of its renowned Historic Costume and Textiles Collection April 17.

"Behind Closet Doors," an annual open house and tour of the university’s clothing collection, will offer an up close look at the items in the Gustafson Gallery, home to the collection. Collection curator Linda Carlson, along with Colorado State students enrolled in the advanced historic costume class, will lead tours and offer explanations of clothing in the university collection. The collection–which includes everything from a 15th century chain mail shirt and a rhinestone bra once worn by Phyllis Diller–has a wide variety of clothing and textiles from 19th century to modern times. The collection also includes many items from noted designer Richard Blackwell.

The tours, free and open to the public, are set for April 17 and will begin at 3:30 p.m. following a 3 p.m. annual meeting of the Friends of the Gustafson Gallery. For more information, contact Carlson at (970) 491-1983.

The collection is part of the university’s department of design, merchandising and consumer sciences and is used extensively in student learning.