During Ohio Northern University’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration, 150 years of history has come alive. The documentary film “Heart of an Ideal,” which chronicles ONU’s history since its founding, is perhaps the most comprehensive example, but exhibits and displays across campus have effectively brought the past into the present for the current generation to appreciate.
This month saw the release of the video series “150 Years of ONU Fashion,” yet another way in which ONU is making its history fun and engaging for today’s students. Modeled after the viral video “100 Years of Fashion” by Mode in 2015, the video features current ONU students dressed in the popular styles of the decades beginning with the 1870s.
To outfit the students in period-correct clothing, the production team called on the ONU Costume Shop and its deep closet of vintage looks.
“A lot of what we used we pulled from stock that was featured in past shows,” says Ameera Ansari, costume shop manager and resident designer. “Other pieces were just vintage pieces that we don’t really use for shows, but that we keep for reference.”
Ansari says the costume shop has more than 1,000 pieces. The oldest vintage piece of clothing that appears in the video are a pair of men’s riding pants that date back to the 1930s. Many of the oldest looking outfits are actually costumes from theatre productions like “Sunday in the Park with George” and “Spring Awakening.”
“A lot of our vintage clothing are donations from estates,” says Ansari. “People find these beautiful pieces of clothing and want them to be preserved. We rarely use these pieces in shows, but they are invaluable for reference or to use as a pattern for a new costume.”