Historic style for a cause

Decades of clothing styles, from Downton Abbey to the disco, will come to life at a fashion show 2 p.m. Sept. 21 at Grace Lutheran Church, 211 S. Ninth St.

The clothing will come from the collection of Fort Dodge native Diane Blatt. She and her sister, Helen Patterson, are putting on the show to celebrate Fort Dodge’s long tradition of artistic and cultural excellence, Patterson said.

“We’ve been members of the community since 1961, and my parents were really involved in music all over the place, and teaching,” she said.

Patterson said her parents, Arnold and Ruth Bode, taught music lessons and were in the Fort Dodge Symphony and Karl L. King Municipal Band.

“It was the art community as a whole that sold them on Fort Dodge,” she said.

Vintage clothing that might normally be seen only in a museum will be featured on live models.

“The models will get right up next to the tables. It’s not like a stage or a runway,” Patterson said.

On display will be a wedding dress worn by the wife of Judge John Schaupp, who lived at 911 Third Ave. S., across the street from Grace Lutheran Church around the 1920s or ’30s, she said.

Other pieces include a 1924 lime green glass-beaded art deco dress that was worn to a Daughters of the American Revolution convention in New York City, a white crepe and rhinestone dress from the 1930s, a 1930s designer wedding dress and jacket, and a brilliant red silk moire dress with rhinestone chevrons.

Blatt will give details on each dress.

“Why the style was, why it was significant in the ’20s, how it changed from Edwardian. My sister researches every single piece of cloth,” Patterson said. “She can tell a narrative story of how women dressed in that genteel age.”

Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for students, available by calling 576-4016 or at the door. All funds raised will assist in the renovation of the church’s pipe organ, which the sisters remember their mother playing for 25 years.