For the first time in 50 years, the renowned Duke Ellington School of the Arts showed off their decades of costumes to the public, and even offering some of their wares for purchase.
“We have this amazing costume vault that looks like the closet that you saw in the movie, ‘The Devil Wears Prada,'” Trystin Kier Francis, the chair of the school’s technical, design and production department for Duke Ellington told WTOP.
Francis said costumes are a large part of their design program and their extensive vault of clothing, gowns and shoes has been filled to capacity and they need to make more room.
“We’re making room for new pieces, we’re making room for more of their work to go into the vault and be celebrated,” he said.
Gowns from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s and present day filled the stage Saturday with many eager theater enthusiasts looking over each piece.
“It is really an effort to preserve history, some of it will preserved here and then some of it will pass on to others to preserve in their homes,” he said.
Beyond the ball gowns, they also parted with state of the art sound and lighting equipment and vinyls that were used in years passed.
All money from the sale is going to the school’s technical, design and production department.
“We’re looking to educate the next 50 years of the greatest minds,” Francis told WTOP.