OSWEGO, NY – SUNY Oswego theatre students and community members will model popular fashions through the decades — starting with the 1860s — in a sesquicentennial event titled “A Fashionable High Tea” on March 24.
The ticketed public event, celebrating the 1861 founding of the Oswego Primary Teachers’ Training School, forerunner of what is now known as SUNY Oswego, will feature music and fashion of selected eras at 2 p.m. in Sheldon Hall ballroom.
Tammy Palmer, NewsChannel9 anchor and a 1998 SUNY Oswego theatre alumna, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.
Kitty Macey, a theatre professor specializing in costume design and makeup, and Judy McCabe, costume shop supervisor, are organizing the event with plenty of assistance from theatre students.
“The idea came from several people in the theatre department,” Macey said. “It’s a huge group effort. We’ve been thinking about (a high tea) since the summer, and I said I couldn’t do this myself so we needed students to help us out.”
Macey said students have been responsible for wardrobe, sound, photography and research to make sure each decade displayed is portrayed accurately.
Elizabeth Redmond, one of the students in charge of production for the event, explained how “high tea” evolved after it became popular among the working class in England in the 1600s as an evening meal.
“The idea is in reference to the English custom to call tea later in the afternoon ‘high tea,'” Redmond said. “It’s like a large tea party.”
“A Fashionable High Tea” will feature a fashion show, visual presentations and free time for attendees to chat and enjoy the food and classic music played with each decade.
The show will display iconic, fashionable dresses that were at peak popularity during eras from the start of the 1860s to the present day. Approximately 15 different decades will come to life as about 25 models show off evolving fashion trends.
“I’m very excited for our present-day dresses,” Macey said. “We’re getting two garments from the Kathy Hilton Collection in New York City. One of our alumni who is there, Elias Gutierrez, is sending us them.”
The event also will include interactive activities, including trivia from the 1860s to the present day and a photo shoot where attendees can get their pictures taken with the wardrobe. Ticketholders also will receive a commemorative teacup and saucer.
Tickets are $25, available in advance only at all SUNY Oswego box offices, http://tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141.