This exhibit, Wear Words: Text in Fashion, is currently on display in the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is concise and packs a punch with its thoughtful exhibit items. It explores the ways in which fashion can communicate through the use of text or letters on the body. Some items of particular note for Femme Fashion Forward’s area of study were the following handkerchiefs and lingerie:
Mid-19th to Early 20th Century Handkerchiefs
Late-19th to Mid-20th Century slips, chemises, and wedding combination
The exhibit explained that women would often send out their clothing to be washed in the 1700 and 1800s, and they would monogram their laundry to make sure the right items were returned to them. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the monograms became a fashionable accent as well as practical, and many women spent time embroidering ornate letters on their garments.