The Collection consists of over 4,000 items. It features 1,750 garments, including fashion designer apparel and accessories, ethnic apparel, and regional dress and textiles representative of Delaware, the Delaware Valley, and the University of Delaware. Among the earliest gems are a pre-Columbian hat, an 1810 Quaker woman’s dress, a 15th century embroidered chasuble, a late 18th century calash, an 1837 men’s court suit, and a wedding dress from 1845.
The Collection boasts designer pieces from Arnold Scaasi, Adrian, Christian Dior, Valentino, Balenciaga, James Galanos, and Givenchy, to name a few. Garments come from six continents including traditional pieces from countries such as Mexico, China, Japan, Tibet, the Balkans, Russia, and India. Of particular interest are ethnic garments collected by Henry Francis du Pont in his travels, donated by the Winterthur Museum.
The Collection also houses approximately 1,600 accessories. These include 250 pairs of shoes ranging from 1850s women’s side-lacing silk ankle boots to Tibetan men’s yak hair boots; 100 handbags; and 400 hats—from Stetsons to a portrait hat by designer Elsa Schiaparelli.