Interesting Stuff

Green and Orange Silk Shantung Pants, 1960s

Bold, bright pants are all the rage this season. Seen on the pages of fashion magazines and a mainstay favorite of many celebrities, this outrageous trend is anything but new.

Daring prints and vivid-colored trousers were first seen in the late 1950s as a women’s fashion alternative to the skirt. These two pairs from the Museum of Texas Tech University’s Clothing and Textile division are dated from the 1960s. High-waisted with a tapered ankle, they represent the typical silhouette of mid-century women’s slacks. The pants are made from shantung which is a durable, woven silk fabric. Shantung has the visual appearance of roughness but is actually very soft.

So the next time you step out in your favorite vibrant slacks, remember you are among the risk-takers of fashion’s great history.


Staff Favorite

CHANEL, Two-Piece Wool Suit, 1960s

When I think of Chanel, I imagine stark black and white contrasts in boxy silhouettes, metallic and pearl accessories, and heavy wool blends. Mix these together and you have a recipe for the perfect Chanel suit.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the founder and namesake to the fashion house, turned the industry on its head with her androgynous approach to women’s clothing. She emphasized comfort and simplicity in all her designs and dared to utilize men’s clothing as inspiration. This 1960s, two-piece, wool suit represents the core ideals of all Chanel creations by playfully intermixing traditional feminine and masculine shapes. The form-fitted, mid-knee length skirt offsets the prominent shoulder structure of the jacket. Buttons on the cuffs and center closure are emblazoned with the classic double “C’s”.

The suit embodies not only the innovative character of all Chanel fabrications, but sets the bar for quality workmanship and design.

Object of the Day

Pearl Gray Chiffon and Beaded Gown, 1969

Worn By Ima Mae Smith

Ima Mae Smith was born in Jack County and later moved to Ralls, Texas. She attended Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas where she met Preston Smith. They were married in 1935 and settled in Lubbock.  Her husband, Preston Smith served as a State Representative for six years, a State Senator for six years, the Lieutenant Governor for six years, and Governor of Texas for four years starting in 1969.

This gown was worn for the inaugural ball in 1969. It is made with pearl gray chiffon and is empire styled featuring a jeweled covered bodice with crystal tulip beads, iridescent sequins and looped crystal beaded fringe.  Helen Rose, who won several awards including two Academy Awards for best costume design, and made famous wedding dresses such as ones for Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, was the designer of this dress.

Photo Courtesy of Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Ima Mae Smith’s community work included the Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, the Women’s Organization of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, the Lubbock Country Club, Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Alumnae, and the St. John’s United Methodist Church. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumnae Award from Texas Tech University.

Object of the Day

Emerald Green Chiffon Gown, 1966

Worn by Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson wore this dress to a state dinner for Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India on her state visit, on March 28, 1966.  President Johnson held a state dinner for Prime Minister Indira Gandhi the year she assumed the office her father had held for 17 years.

The gown is made from emerald green chiffon with the top beaded with green sequins and tiny beads. The gown has a simple round neckline, sleeveless and zips up the back. The dress was donated with a matching chiffon shawl.

Associated Press photo, White House Historical Association, March 28, 1966

Mollie Parnis, who designed many dresses worn by First Ladies from Mamie Eisenhower to Betty Ford, designed this dress. Lady Bird Johnson and Mollie Parnis became close friends during her time as First Lady, Parnis designed Johnson several gowns providing her with her signature look.

Associated Press photo, White House Historical Association, March 28, 1966

Object of the Day

Beaded and Embroidered Pumps, 1960s

These heavily white beaded and multicolored silk embroidered pumps are from the 1960s, designed by Harilela’s Shoes.  We have tried to find more information about the makers of these shoes, but have been unsuccessful.  Do you know anything about the designer?

Detail of the toe of the shoe

Detail of the heel of the shoe