Tread of Pioneers Museum event features vintage ski fashion
January 24, 2010
Steamboat Springs — On Thursday night, longtime Steamboat Springs resident Kathy Curcio got to show off her circa 1973, bright orange, hand-embroidered wind jacket for the first time in years.
One of more than 35 throwback looks featured in the Tread of Pioneers Museum's inaugural Vintage Ski Fashion Show, Curcio's jacket featured an image of a sun she stitched herself in the '70s.
Models strutted down a runway in the fellowship hall at United Methodist Church on Thursday evening, working spins and waves into their ski fashion showcase. Community members, a few of them sporting their own vintage skiwear, lined the runway, offering cheers for each new weather-conscious look.
Featuring fashions from the early 1900s through the mid-1990s, the ski fashion show was a chance to offer some historical content in a fun format, said Tread of Pioneers Museum executive director Candice Bannister and museum curator Katie Adams.
Adams provided bits of context and skiing history during her commentary of the fashion show, which also included amusing tidbits about each outfit and its owner.
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"It's so funny to see somebody who remembers purchasing it, who remembers wearing it and who kept it," Adams said.
Adams was impressed by the number of community members who loaned items to the museum for the show, she said. Among the most outstanding contributions, Adams said, were a multi-hued green suit and a competitive slalom skiing outfit from the closet of Rick DeVos, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club director.
Ann Ross loaned and modeled a 1970-vintage, bright yellow one-piece ski suit with Western-inspired leather fringe. Ross said she still has the magazine ad that inspired her to buy the suit. The outfit has stayed in good condition because Ross wore it sparingly during its glory days — the fringe tends to get caught in chairlifts, she said.
Susan Dreska, a New England native who has lived in Steamboat for about 14 years, said she found out about the event in a newspaper ad. Contributing a bold red matching pants and jacket suit from the 1980s; a 1960s pale pink jacket and pants combo; and a 1970s pink and navy blue outfit, Dreska modeled one of the looks herself.
"I thought it would be fun, and I was proud I could still fit in one of the outfits," Dreska said.
The show was heavy on looks from the 1950s through the 1980s, with plenty of neon, Day Glo and pastel-colored one-piece suits working the runway. Examples of early skiwear included wool and everyday winter ranch clothing.
Bannister and Adams said they hope to make the fashion show an annual event and have considered playing with the theme by focusing on sports fashion or ski equipment, Bannister said.
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