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Historical society finalizing plans for biennial fashion show

Historical society finalizing plans for biennial fashion show

July 16th, 2017 in Local News

Diane Burre Ludwig, a coordinator for the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society's July 23 fashion show, talks with contributor Carolyn Rankin about her purse collection. The show, "Fashion and Fun: A Century of Accessories," will be 2-4 p.m. at Court Street United Methodist Church in Fulton.

Photo by Jenny Gray /Fulton Sun.

Fulton resident Carolyn Rankin has thoughtfully collected about 100 antique purses and compacts throughout her life — and she's willing to share them next Sunday.

Pieces from her collection will be modeled on July 23 at the second "Fashion and Fun: A Century of Accessories" show. The event, held by the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, will be 2-4 p.m. at the Court Street United Methodist Church's Fellowship Hall, 719 Court St., Fulton.

Rankin, a retired teacher, has lived in Fulton most of her life. Her father was Earl Trask, a former superintendent of the New Bloomfield school district. There, she met her future husband, John Rankin.

"We went to high school together," she said. "Our first date was on the night we graduated."

The young man, who became a planning engineer for the state's highway department, woo'd Rankin by woo'ing her father, she said.

"He liked playing cards with my dad, and that kind of got me," Rankin said while laughing.

She said she's always been a collector — and the purses came along with that.

"I like fashion," Rankin said. "I started in the 80s. We had an auction when John's dad died, and I couldn't believe what people were paying for things."

She started going to auctions and collecting things, like her intricately beaded 1920s purses, and the metal compacts in her collection. Each item includes a note about it — where Rankin got it, and how much she paid.

"They're just pretty," Rankin said of her baubles. "I loaned (a purse) to one of my friends who was going to a wedding, and she said she got so many comments."

The society's first biennial fashion show was two years ago, with a quilt show last year and another quilt show planned next year.

"Two years ago, we did a Fashion and Fun show, showing the difference between costumes and actual (antique) clothing," said Diane Burre Ludwig, co-chair of the event with Sheila Guthrie. Jo James is sharing the honorary chair positions with sisters Pat O'Rourke and Marianne Stone.

Ludwig said she has a background in historical clothing.

"There was a time in my life when I taught about historical costumes in a business school for fashion merchandising," she said.

Using that knowledge — and with the assistance of her cousin Sheila — they look at old photos coming into the society's museum and try to date them by looking at their clothing and accessories, Ludwig said. They also used to put people in costumes for cemetery tours, she added.

"I've got one of my great aunt's slinky red dresses from the 20s," she said of flapper couture. "I used to be able to fit into it."

The fashion show is being held in conjunction with Calena's Fashions of Holts Summit.

"My part for the show is to have models in an outfit and change out the accessories to show how each outfit can look different," said store owner Calene Cooper.

Models will include the honorary chairs, plus other surprise models. Attendees also are encouraged to bring historical items of apparel. There will be refreshments, sweet tea and strawberry lemonade.

Tickets are $10 in advance or at the door. Stop by the society's museum at 513 Court St., Fulton, for more information or tickets.