Smithsonian – Ginger Rogers’ Dresses

Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of American History

Costume Conservation Intern

Supervised by: Dwight Blocker Bowers – Culture and Community Life Curator and Sunae Park-Evans – Senior Costume Conservator

I conducted research into two Ginger Rogers dresses from Follow the Fleet (1936) and Top Hat (1935), films by RKO Studios. Both dresses were designed by Bernard Newman.

After writing a condition report for each dress, I then created toiles (muslin copies) of both dresses. Due to the delicate nature of the dresses, I studied each seam, measured every inch and drafted patterns based on the measurements. These toiles can now be used to help mount the dresses for display, reducing the amount of handling required.