A Fashionable Era

Ballgowns and bonnets will abound at the Civil War Fashion Show to be held at the Ohio County Public Library, 52 16th St., Wheeling, from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20.

The event is part of the Civil War sesquicentennial observance and will highlight the fashions, including uniforms, of the period.

Organized by the Friends of Wheeling, the Ohio County Public Library and the Wheeling Civil War 150 committee, the program will include costumes for men, women and children.

Sponsored by a grant from Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp., this program is evidence of the variety and value of the programs that Ohio County Public Library’s program director, Sean Duffy, has presented to the community, organizers said.

For this occasion, the auditorium of the library will be transformed into a dazzling stage setting by P.D. Gregg, set designer for Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre, who has donated his time and energy to the project.

Stages will provide some of the costumes, but most were designed and made by the participating models. “Making costumes is very difficult and time-consuming, but well worth the effort,” said Kate Quinn, who has made several vests, frock coats and gowns for the show.

Quinn, a Friends of Wheeling member, will narrate the program with tidbits of information about why the fashions were made the way they were and how women coped with the voluminous petticoats, hoops and skirts of the period.

Judi Hendrickson, also , a Friends of Wheeling member, is organizing the many models involved in the show. Detailed descriptions of each outfit will give the audience an insight into the types of materials used during the period.

“We are striving to make this as authentic as possible. I think the audience will be delighted with the show and learn a little something at the same time,” Hendrickson remarked.

A reception with light refreshments will be held after the fashion show.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Seating is limited. To assure a seat, send an email message to LunchwithBooks@yahoo.com or call the library at 304-232-0244 by Friday, Nov. 18.