Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | June 28, 2024

Senior Time Travel

Blog|Jennifer Davis

I get nostalgic every time I see a kitchen apron, the garment ignites happy memories of my grandmother and our time together in her kitchen. This month, we took our Seniors to the De Young Museum for the Fashioning San Francisco exhibit. Our hope was to help those in attendance to revisit the past and remember a happier time or person by viewing the garments on display.

I live in a building that was built in 1916, so I was looking forward to viewing fashion pieces from this era. One of my favorite pieces was an early 20th Century dress, that had gold silk and was adorned with black lace from that era. The mannequin had their hair pulled up into a loose bun (again, to match the era of the dress) and her hands delicately at her sides. I kept imagining a lady walking into my building wearing this outfit and using our birdcage elevator. All the displays entailed various mannequins in animated poses to enhance the outfit they wore.

Many of our Seniors were fascinated by the pieces they saw, some garments brought back happy memories of childhood outfits worn by family members back in the day. The garments that brought back fond memories for several seniors were office suits and sleepwear. There was a total of five separate rooms that were dedicated to the exhibit, and we took our time walking through each one.

The museum did a great job of providing some historical background on all the displays. Next to each exhibit was an introduction with some historical references on how the garments were used or what inspired their creation. For example, I learned that the evening gowns worn at many of the balls in San Francisco were used primarily to promote charity events and solicit donations.  

There was even a section dedicated to shoes, which triggered fond memories for me, as I used to work in a department store selling women’s shoes in my college days. One of my favorite items on display were a pair of colorful boots that were knee-high, had a thick heel and a rounded toe.

After a while, we started getting hungry, so we all walked over to the park across the way and had a box lunch picnic in the park. It felt good to rest and get some nourishment after our stroll down memory lane together. Our picnic among the shady trees was the perfect end to an afternoon of exploring, memories, and fun.

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