When most Washingtonians hear the name Merriweather Post, they likely think of the namesake concert venue in Maryland where they spent the summer lifting their phone screens to the live performances of Mumford & Sons, Sam Smith and Florence and the Machine.
Yet Marjorie Merriweather Post was hardly one to don a concert t-shirt. One of the tastemakers of the early 20th century, the heiress to the Post cereal empire and founder of General Foods was followed relentlessly by the press, who were desperate to snap photos of her high fashion wardrobe.
"They would show what she wore to every event," said Kate Markert, executive director of Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. "There were even sketches of new outfits."
Hillwood was Post's home on Linnean Avenue, NW, a sprawling Georgian estate that now functions as a museum for her art collection, her gardens and for the woman herself. In addition to the rare French and Russian decorative arts and handpicked furnishings on display, a new exhibit, "Ingenue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion," features the striking designs and sumptuous fabrics that made Post a trendsetter.
Much of her closet and jewelry box is on display for the public to admire. And as Post would certainly be transitioning her wardrobe as the summer air cools in D.C., the museum soon plans to switch out the exhibit in favor of fall attire. "We will be changing over from spring and summer fashions, which we've been showing since the show opened in June, to fall and winter beginning Oct. 1," said Markert. "We have so many great dresses that we will be essentially installing an entirely new exhibition for the second half." (Read more.)
|Afternoon Dress, circa 1910|