The Saratoga Sun -

Tea & Textiles

 

Mikiya Johnson models Victorian-era clothing.

A fashion show with Victorian flair featured mostly clothes created from seamstress Ruth "Hettie" Parker Kyner was presented by Grand Encampment Museum (GEM) at the Encampment Opera House. The proceeds of the tea fashion show, which featured various pastries and hot tea in elegant cups on saucers will go toward the GEM Textile Project.

Hettie Kyner lived in Encampment for a little over a year starting in 1901. Before she married James Kyner, a railroad employee, she made her living as a seamstress back East where she was born. Hettie Kyner lived out West with her husband until he retired and they moved back east to Maryland where remained until she died.

Her impact on Encampment has been felt with letters, diaries, clothes and a stuffed dog named "Teddy" who resides at the GEM. Teddy was beloved by Hettie Kyner says Lynda Johnson, the narrator of the Spring Tea Fashion Show, so much so she couldn't part with him when he was run over by a wagon.

Much of what is at the GEM from Hettie Kyner was donated by granddaughter Susannah Yatman, who was a resident of Encampment.

GEM Director Christy Smith introduces event narrator Lynda Johnson Sunday.

Hettie Kyner was a petite woman standing five foot two inches and the clothes dated from the 1890s to the early 1900s were Victorian in appearance. Of the 12 outfits modeled only one was store bought (Macy's) which was a blue wool suit (skirt and jacket). The collection had two children dresses, five suits, two skirts with eyelet blouses, a mother/daughter matching outfit, lounging dress and a nightgown.

The models who participated in displaying the outfits were Madi Dunning, Amber Stubbs, Makiya Johnson, Ashlynn Johnson, Charity Russell and Cheyenne Cor.

At the end of the presentation, a quiz was given where Lauren Buford and Tommie Hinshaw were the winners of GEM commemorative coffee mug for having the most correct answers.

"This program fits so well in our mission of education outreach of material culture at the turn of the century," said Christy Smith, director of GEM. "It's an ongoing goal to keep up the preservation of textiles such as clothes, hats and shoes from the past."

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