Janet Albert, Professor, Fashion Merchandising

Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Features | 0 comments


Janet Albert,

Janet Albert,
Professor, Fashion Merchandising

I developed a love of costume history and a fascination with how vintage-costume design impacts the modern era during my graduate studies. Now I’m privileged to teach costume history at UB. Since I spend a lot of time with my students in my classroom and office, I’ve surrounded the rooms with a collection of historical costumes that I’ve displayed on mannequins.

I developed the collection through my association with the Fairfield Museum, where I’ve visited many times with my students. Occasionally, the museum received extra costumes that were over-subscribed, and they generously gave them to me.

I have a few pieces from the early 1900s. The workmanship on them is incredible:

 students in her costume

All in the details: Janet Albert hopes students in her costume
history classes will gain an appreciation for how clothing was made.
“The workmanship,” she says, “is incredible.”

the buttons, fabric was cut on the bias to drape the body. I have a cape from 1900. At that time sleeve design was primitive, so to keep warm, people used a cape and slipped their arms through. There’s a brown wedding dress. Brides didn’t necessarily wear white. They usually wore a festive dress that could be used for other occasions. They were more practical then. Now some brides may have two dresses: one for the ceremony and one to dance in afterwards.

I also have two pieces from the 1930s that I inherited from my mother-in-law. One was her bridal gown and the other was the dress she wore when she met my father-in-law at a dance. These dresses reflect the high style of glamour and the beautiful satin fabrics used at that time. I’ve displayed it with a picture from a Ralph Lauren collection. It shows how designs of the past have been adapted by designers today.

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