Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Garment Storage 101

My new obsession is The Rachel Zoe Project on Tuesday nights on Bravo. I love it because I get to view amazing designer gowns, jewelry, and purses, and it's also highly entertaining. Rachel Zoe and her lackies Taylor and Brad are all kinds of insane. Granted, Zoe's catchphrases are undeniably annoying (she uses the expression "I die" liberally, and whenever a svelte starlet is sartorially successful), and she looks like she's had WAY too much plastic or possibly not enough, but I still love Zoe (pronounced Zoh). Anyway, on the latest installment of the series there is a flood in Rachel's designer den, and the gowns get water damage!! I recently had a flood in my house, and this episode got me thinking about the optimal way of storing important articles of clothing (like a prom dress, vintage gown, or wedding dress) and how to best preserve them and shield them from environmental aggressors. The only frame of reference that I have for clothing and textile preservation is a visit that I made to the Costume Institute to research Dior suits. I remember the conservators wore white lab coats and gloves to touch the garments that were stored in eggshell blue boxes and wrapped in acid-free paper. On the Container Store website you can actually purchase blue boxes and acid-free paper that look extremely similar (dare I say identical) to the ones that they use at the Costume Institute. $34.99 will get you a medium-sized box with 8 sheets of tissue, and it's large enough to hold two garments. You can place your boxes on shelves up in your closet (safe from flood water), and remove the garments as needed for special occasions. I'm definitely liking this option, but I'm curious if there are any other methods of gown storage/preservation out there (besides of course the garment bag). Let me know if you use any other methods in the comments section.

photo credit Rachel Zoe: http://www.bravotv.com
photo credit boxes: http://www.containerstore.com


Anonymous said...

You can put a gown in a clear plastic garbage bag, put the vacuum tube on the other end, and draw out the air creating an airtight seal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for " garment storage 101." I've been going from one dry cleaner to another for months now asking about preserving my daughter's white graduation dress in acid-free paper and either they don't do that or it is so very expensive. I had no idea where to buy acid free paper until I read that the Container Store sells archival boxes and acid-free tissue paper. Last night I ordered a box and tissue for $34.99. Thanks again!!