A Fashion Show at Neusteter’s Department Store in Denver

Neusteters’ Collection Archive, History Colorado

Neusteter’s Collection Archive, History Colorado

One of the joys of city living, in my suburban view, is the element of serendipity. I just returned from a fun filled week at my sister’s in Denver, where we ran across an unexpected exhibit of fashion photography at main public library downtown. It included  photos from the archives of the now defunct Neusteter’s Department Store, which used to be the premier spot for fashion in the region. Although the store is no more, its photographic archive is now held in the History Colorado Museum. What a great source for a local history project!

Fashion shows were part of the services that elegant old department stores provided. They were both a place to catch up on current fashion trends, and a venue to see and be seen. From this particular shot, it looks like the women in attendance were older, prosperous, and content with conventional styles. Only the woman in front, perhaps in her sixties, stands out from the crowd. Wearing the stunned look of a recent face lift and a boldly printed dress, she’s appears to be the only one who might be ready to try the patterned coat on the model.

There’s no date on the photo, but I’m guessing late sixties or early seventies because of the skirt lengths, the textiles, and the hair.  What do you think?

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4 Responses to A Fashion Show at Neusteter’s Department Store in Denver

  1. Christina says:

    The coat shows the Flower Power influence and those over-the-knee boots say 1967/68 to me. Nice reflection of American society captured in that photo.

  2. Jen O says:

    The longer Nehru jacket is usually late 60’s. Here is Simplicity 7996 dated 1968: http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/Simplicity_7996. I don’t think she’s wearing over the knee boots–They look more like the skinny type of pants often worn with this type of Nehru inspired jacket (look closely at the ankle).
    Right now “Mad Men” on Netflix is in 1969, looking alot like this, especially the ‘Betty Draper’ look in closest woman (not that a current media show should be used instead of research, but it’s fun to see how close they can come to accuracy).

    • Lynn says:

      I should always come to you first when I have a question about dates!

    • Christina says:

      You mean the traditional jodhpuri trousers? I don’t think I have ever seen jodhpuri trousers worn with a late 1960’s woman’s Nehru inspired dress, tunic or coat. Pants or trousers when worn with the Nehru look were usually flared. Some were straight legged. Cardin, Feraud and other designers were producing tight long boots and thigh boots in soft leather and patent so they wrinkled much like what I think is shown in the photo. The photo is B/W but the texture of the shiny surface above the ankle of what is probably leather looks identical to the shoe.

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