OWATONNA, Minn. (KEYC) – The costume department at The Little Theater in Owatonna was recently given over 4,000 items of clothing, including a wedding dress from the turn of the 20th century.
”The second one in is actually a wedding dress, and I have a picture of the wonderful lady who wore it in the other room. June 1901. So that’s the second piece,” explained Victoria Bartowiak, executive director of The Little Theater.
“Purchased in 2016, Sharon Stark had a wonderful relationship with Colette, who is a fantastic costumer from the Kenyon area. She’s worked with multiple theater productions and all over Minnesota and rented out these pieces. And so when she started to get to the point of retirement she and Sharon, with that wonderful relationship, worked out that we would be able to purchase that collection from her,” said Bartowiak.
The Collette Flom collection includes 4,000 costume pieces, 250 hats, and 180 accessories with belts, vests, ties, and gloves; anything a show could need from nearly every period of fashion. Collette Flom passed in 2020, but the legacy of her handiwork lives on.
“And you have to go into the other room too. There’s more. There’s a whole other set over here. I mean, it just keeps going,” said Bartowiak.
Part of the collection is historic and only to be used as inspiration, some pieces are over 120 years old.
“She would be able to look at and take apart and pattern and then recreate in different sizes because of course, we’re not all a size zero any longer, so she was able to adapt them into pieces that could be used for current day productions,” explained Bartowiak, “yeah, I mean when you see pieces like this. Don’t you want to just like Camelot it up a little bit?”
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