Friday, January 31, 2014

[346] MTSU involvement helps fashion ‘Wedding Dresses Through the Ages’

MURFREESBORO — When Chloe Calhoun was choosing her wedding gown, she said she had no idea it would become part of an award-winning annual exhibit.

The MTSU admissions coordinator, who married Colin Calhoun in October 2013, is one of several women whose bridal fashions are on display in “Wedding Dresses Through the Decades” at Oaklands Historic House Museum, 900 N. Maney Ave. in Murfreesboro.

Chloe Calhoun’s dress, which is on exhibit at Oaklands, is a traditional Amsale gown accented with French Alencon lace and seed pearls.

Also on display is the veil, a cathedral-length lace mantilla also accented with French Alencon lace. The veil was made by her mother, Teresa King, an MTSU professor of fashion merchandising, and was worn by King at her own wedding.

King’s wedding dress and the military tuxedo worn by her groom, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Michael King, are on exhibit in the McWherter Learning Resources Center, along with the emerald dress King wore to her daughter’s wedding.

“This is the third year for the exhibit, and we are exceptionally pleased with the partnership,” said Deborah Belcher, chair of MTSU’s Human Sciences Department.

Van Westmoreland, a sophomore textiles, merchandising and design major from Nashville, designed the display on view in the Ellington Human Sciences Building.

That window features Belcher’s wedding dress, which she describes as a mermaid with sweetheart bodice, pearls and lace overlays, as well as her travel dress. She wed Roy Hoffman in 2008 at Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

The dress worn by Belcher’s mother, Patsy Pockett Belcher, when she married Robert William Belcher in 1961, is on view at Oaklands. It is a knee-length design indicative of the changing styles of the time.

Dr. Sharon Whiteside, an MTSU nursing professor, renewed her vows in 2013 after 30 years of marriage wearing a strapless sweetheart corset with pickup, swagged skirt and chapel train in a traditional organic pattern with beads and crystals.

The wife of Harold “Terry” Whiteside, dean of MTSU’s College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, also wore a hat with a veil. She said the hat was made by an Italian designer, and she knew the moment she saw it in an Indianapolis store that she had to have it.

Whiteside’s dress and veil are on view in the Oaklands exhibit, which features fashions from the mid-1800s to the present day.

“We borrowed half of the dress forms and some of the sign holders from the Department of Human Sciences this year,” said Oaklands Educational Director Mary Beth Nevills.

“Wedding Dresses Through the Decades” will be open at Oaklands 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays through March 2. Admission is $5 per person.

For more information, contact Oaklands at 615-893-0022 or

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