Seamstress Samantha McCarty works on constructing dress for "Fashioning Eliza" project

Gown Making in the 18th Century

After 1804: Dressed in Sorrow

MARCH 22, 2019

Eliza Hamilton by Henry Inman (1825)

by Susan Holloway Scott, Guest Contributor to Fashioning Eliza and author of I, ELIZA HAMILTON (Kensington Books)

Like most women, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton wore a wide variety of fashionable clothing over the course of her long life. Although none of her actual garments are known to survive, her sense of personal style can be seen in her portraits and in contemporary descriptions of her, and in the Fashioning Eliza project here at the Museum.

Fashion Forward or Backward? Eliza Hamilton Style Cast, 1777-1787

FEBRUARY 22, 2019

Eliza Hamilton Style Cast, 1777-1787.

Introducing the #FashioningEliza Social Media Style Cast & Quiz

Do you think Eliza Schuyler Hamilton became more "yasss queen" or "oh no honey" in the decade from 1777 to 1787? How would you describe her style on today’s terms? Compare the Fashioning Eliza Project design sketches with the final recreated gowns worn by Museum Educators in the #FashioningEliza Social Media Style Cast.

Join us at the Museum on March 31st for the culmination of the Fashioning Eliza series - Fashioning Eliza: Hamilton and Philadelphia Style, 1777-1787. This event is included with Museum admission.

When Alexander Met Eliza... Or At Least Danced With Her

JANUARY 25, 2019

by Susan Holloway Scott, Guest Contributor to Fashioning Eliza and author of I, ELIZA HAMILTON

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Museum’s History After Hours: A Winter’s Ball, seamstress Samantha McCarty prepared Museum Educator Meg for the ball and debuted her design for “Fashioning Eliza 1777” for the Museum's Fashioning Eliza project. This gown was inspired by Paul Tazewell’s costume design for Hamilton: An American Musical. Throughout the evening, guests filled their dance cards at the Museum’s first dance-calling program, tested their wit with The Quizzing Glass trivia, and explored all exhibits including Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia

Attending A Winter's Ball, 1777

JANUARY 18, 2019

Over Winter Break, we were lucky enough to welcome seamstress Samantha McCarty to the Museum to work on recreating a gown like Elizabeth Schuyler would have worn in 1777, as part of our Fashioning Eliza: 1777-1787 project. Using 18th-century techniques, McCarty fit – and began constructing – a gown inspired by Paul Tazewell’s costume design for the Broadway smash hit Hamilton: An American Musical for Museum educator Meg to wear. The Eliza 1777 dress will make its debut on Tuesday, Jan. 22, fittingly, at History After Hours: A Winter’s Ball.

A Winter's Ball Gown, 1777

DECEMBER 15, 2018

Seamstress Samantha McCarty works on constructing dress for "Fashioning Eliza" project

What did Eliza Schuyler wear to a winter’s ball at age 20 before she met and later married Alexander Hamilton? This month, we ask the Fashioning Eliza: 1777-1787 gown designer Samantha McCarty for a closer look at her process to recreate a 1777 style, adapting Paul Tazewell’s costume design for Eliza in Hamilton: An American Musical

Fashioning Eliza in 1787: A White Silk Dress for a Special Portrait

DECEMBER 1, 2018

by Susan Holloway Scott, Guest Contributor to Fashioning Eliza and author of I, ELIZA HAMILTON

Gallery Educator models a replica of Elizabeth Hamilton gown.

Sitting for a portrait was serious business in 18th-century America. Professional artists were few and portraits were expensive, a luxury for only the wealthiest or most prominent of people. Even for them, a portrait was often a once-in-a-lifetime event.

When Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton sat for her portrait in the winter of 1787, she was thirty years old. From a socially prominent New York family, Eliza was the wife of Colonel Alexander Hamilton, an up-and-coming young lawyer and Revolutionary War hero who was already playing an important role in shaping the new country’s government. Alexander himself had already sat for several portraits, and now it was Eliza’s turn.

Fast Fashion: Top Four Accessory Trends of Fall 1787

NOVEMBER 17, 2018

How did Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton add a little something extra to her outfits while she lived in Philadelphia, and what accessories go with “Fashioning Eliza: 1787”? This month, we ask Amber Mendenhall Welch about her contribution to styling Eliza within her larger historical costuming work and inspiration. Visitors to Hamilton Was Here are invited to try on similar fashions from the early 1790s and learn how women like Eliza Hamilton would have presented themselves to meet First Lady Martha Washington at the President’s House in Philadelphia.

Fashioning Eliza: Gown-Making in 1777 and 1787

NOVEMBER 2, 2018

Design sketch of Elizabeth Hamilton gown

What does women’s fashion tell us about politics? Throughout the “Year of Hamilton” and inspired by paintings, historical research and Paul Tazewell’s costume design for Hamilton: An American Musical, seamstress Samantha McCarty will use 18th-century techniques to create two historically accurate gowns as if they had been pulled right from Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s closet.

In ongoing gallery education and public programs for Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia, visitors to the Museum will learn how women’s fashion changed in the tumultuous period from the Revolutionary War to the early Republic.