February 28, 2014

The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising

At Colorado State University, there is a textile museum called the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising. I have a complicated relationship with this really great collection. My senior year I got to work within the collection as part of a graduate level course called care and exhibit of museum collections. This meant I spent six hours each week working directly with the artifacts as my classmates and I cataloged each item for inventory purposes. We were working primarily with the world textiles collection, clothing and textiles from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Japan, Java, Korea and elsewhere. Being able to handle these amazing and beautiful textiles from around the world was such an incredible opportunity that I greatly enjoyed. I loved the collection at the Avenir so much that I wanted to share it with everyone, which lead me to proposing a job to the museum and department. I wanted to create an audience and encourage donors by managing the museums social media and creating a behind the scenes YouTube channel for the museum. After a few very exciting meetings, the department ended up decided against adding the position. I was a bit devastated even though I had known it was a long shot.

Now I miss the collection, I got to know the garments in those drawers! As much as I loved the corset drawer, the shelves of accessories, the 15th century chain mail shirt and the pre-Colombian textile fragments from South America the most exciting drawer for sure was the beaded dresses. Ranging from the early 20th century through the end of the twenties the dresses were the gowns dreams are made of...

iridescent sequins and beads on a decadent 20's evening dress 
The dream dress, I mean seriously, look at it! Light pink to indigo ombre with beading and a metallic pink lame slip

I sadly don't have any good pictures of this electric blue velvet beaded 20's gown
What do you think 1909-1914 ish? sometime in there I'd think? So pretty!

Hard to tell but I'd say 1919 perhaps? With milky white beads and wax flowers, swoon

I do have more from my time at the Avenir, though I wish I had more of the western collection! I will have to see if I can go back and get some more time in the collection and more photos of its treasures!


  1. I gasped, audibly gasped, over these incredibly stunning pieces. Goodness, they are almost too gorgeous to be real!

    ♥ Jessica

    1. I'm glad you like them! like little lost treasures locked away in drawers right? I want a copy of each to wear!

  2. It's such a shame that your proposal didn't get taken up in the end. It sounds like a wonderful idea. I would have loved to see that!

    1. Thank you Tanith, I agree! I would still like to do a similar series about costume history on YouTube it just seems like a ton of work! one day perhaps :)


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