Dress is a vehicle for personal expression, a reflection of society, an art form. The clothing that people have worn throughout history provides insight into their lives and customs. In the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection at Indiana University—which includes clothing, accessories, and related items from the past as well as the present—our social history comes to life.
Overseen by the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, the collection serves as a resource for students, professionals, and the public. The Collection contains both a high-quality permanent museum collection intended for exhibition and research and a hands-on collection used in classroom instruction and fashion design studios. In existence for nearly 70 years, the Sage Collection was founded by Miss Elizabeth Sage, the first professor of Clothing and Textiles at Indiana University.
Just a sample of the diverse Sage holdings includes military, occupational, and sports uniforms; hand-crafted haute couture ensembles; ready-to-wear apparel; Senior Cords, Indiana’s unique expression of school pride and affiliation; a large button collection; and garments designed by Hoosier natives Bill Blass and Norman Norell. Home sewing patterns, fashion publications, videotapes, and DVDs round out this extensive and important collection.
The Sage Collection is available to students, scholars, and those interested in dress. To view objects from the collection, please contact Assistant Curator Kelly Richardson at email@example.com or call 812-855-4627. Appointments must be scheduled approximately two weeks in advance.