NEWS RELEASE: Historic Huguenot Street Announces Fourth Saturday Lecture "Sportswear for a New American Woman: Clothing of the Gilded Age"

NEW PALTZ, NY (March 16, 2015) – Historic Huguenot Street has announced its next Fourth Saturday event with SUNY New Paltz Theatre Arts Design Associate Professor Andrea Varga. Varga will present a lecture entitled “Sportswear for a New American Woman: Clothing of the Gilded Age” at 4 pm in Deyo Hall (6 Broadhead Avenue) on Saturday, March 28.

Varga’s lecture will explore the shift in women’s fashion at the onset of the 20th century and how it reflected the changing middle-class. The spunky “Gibson Girl” no longer wanted the docile, proper life of previous generations – she had a new active lifestyle and adopted a wardrobe to match. A new set of fashion styles called “sportswear” showed an increased interest in public and personal health, a growing cultural engagement in sporting activities, and a burgeoning desire in upper and middle class young women for a more active lifestyle.  Sportswear began to reflect the dramatic gender and social role shifts in the movement for women’s equality in the 20th century, and would become the standard American dress style of modern life.

 “Historic Huguenot Street is focusing on a number of time periods outside of colonial history this year,” said Director of Public Programming, Kara Gaffken.  “There is a lot of interest in the Gilded Age, and it is wonderful to partner with SUNY New Paltz to bring attention to the changing roles of women during this defining time period.” 

 Varga holds an MFA in Theatre Design from Florida State University, as well as a BFA in Theatre Arts and a BS in History from Utah State University.  For several years she worked as a freelance costume designer and assistant in New York City prior to teaching at SUNY New Paltz.  At New Paltz, she teaches courses in the Theatre Arts Design program that include History of Western Fashion, History of World Dress, and Costume Design.  She advises student designers in the Theatre Arts program and designs costumes for the MainStage productions. She is a member of the Costume Society of America and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and continues to freelance as a costume designer.

 A reception catered by Main Course will follow the lecture at 5 pm in the Craig House (18 Broadhead Avenue).

 Members $10 (lecture only) or $20 (with reception).
Seniors and military $12 (lecture only) or $22 (with reception).
General admission $15 (lecture only) or $25 (with reception).
SUNY New Paltz students may attend the lecture for free, or both the lecture and reception for $10.

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve their French and Dutch heritage.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today. 


Kaitlin Gallucci
Communications & Marketing Manager
(845) 255-1660