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August 8, 2017 > 100 years of fashion to unfold at historic home

100 years of fashion to unfold at historic home

By Julie Huson

Care for some history lessons delivered with your fashion show? Stylish trend setters accustomed to the concept of professional models rocking the latest trends along an elevated runway will be in for an intriguing afternoon at the Have Bag Will Travel show of styles on Monday, August 21 at the Alta Mira Club in San Leandro.

Shawn Richardson of the Greater East Bays all-volunteer auxiliary The Goodwill Bags says the organization has been presenting unique fashion shows displaying donated items ranging from furs to wedding dresses and swimming costumes since 1972. A variety of authentic, donated treasures from eras such as the Victorian period, Civil War, and the Roaring Twenties will be modeled by auxiliary volunteers.

The elegant tea and dessert luncheon sponsored by the Alta Mira Club will benefit the groups scholarship fund for students at San Leandro and Arroyo High Schools. The Alta Mira Club was organized in 1907 and has been a member of the California Federation of Womens Clubs since 1908 and the General Federation of Womens Clubs since 1912. Club members are dedicated to civic improvements and host a number of events throughout the year, including a pancake breakfast in October, a boutique in November, a holiday tea in December and shrimp fest in February. Club members also hold other charitable causes such as toy drives and sponsor and support local community organizations.

Double good works are ensured by those attending this event, as The Goodwill Bags supports Goodwill Industries mission services of job training and placement.

If youre thinking that clothes have nothing to do with wars or modes of transportation youÕll be enlightened to learn that fabric shortages during World War II dictated severe silhouettes, as frivolity and extravagance were put on hold. And when acquisition of the automobile at the turn of the century achieved status, driving clothes and veiled hats were developed to protect against dust so stylish Americans could drive on unpaved roads with their fashions protected.

In much the same way AmericansÕ current ÒathleisureÓ outfits of Lycra leggings and sports team regalia are recognized as acceptable day wear, so were linen walking suits for women in 1920 with skirts rising, surprisingly, above the ankle! In 1930, women clamored to look like Hollywood screen idols, which prompted many high fashion designers to produce clothing for the mass market and sell through department stores. The sleek satin bias-cut dresses worn by Jean Harlow and other screen stars featured dramatic lines that played best to camera. Captivating images appeared in fan magazinesÕ glossy pages and in widely circulated newspapers.

Royal personalities also influenced the continually changing fashion market. FranceÕs Princess Eugˇnie, known worldwide as a beauty and a trend setter, collaborated in 1868 with the designer Charles Frederick Worth to change the popular bell-shape silhouette into a straight and narrow-fronted frock that hugged the figure and boasted a bustle in the back of the dress. The sensation immediately caught on, and women were freed of the layers of restrictive horsehair and linen crinoline skirts, as well as hooped, metal cages, which mimicked layers of underskirts and petticoats.

Because the grand Peralta House in San Leandro boasts architectural features from several historical time periods, itÕs the ideal backdrop for a history-themed fashion show. While viewing clothes spanning 100 years of style, guests to the event will be able to time travel over a cup of tea seated in the historic Ignacio Peralta house built in 1860. Said to be the first brick house erected in Alameda County, it has additional historic associations with the large and landed Peralta family who were pioneers of the area. It is California Registered Historical Landmark 285 and has been under the care of the Alta Mira Club since 1926.

To purchase tickets, please call (510) 483-1018 or e-mail

Have Bag Will Travel: 100 Years of Fashion
Monday, Aug 21
11:30 a.m.
Alta Mira Club
561 Lafayette Ave, San Leandro
(510) 483-1018
Tickets: $25 per person

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