The current display at the Arkadelphia Arts Center features a variety of theatre clothing, vintage clothing and accessories depicting the 1700’s through today.

The current display at the Arkadelphia Arts Center features a variety of theatre clothing, vintage clothing and accessories depicting the 1700’s through today.
Fashion Extravaganza will be on display at the AAC until Friday, Sept. 1. Most of the items on display have been designed by William Henshaw, who also serves as curator for the display.
Other contributors to the exhibit include the theater arts department at Ouachita Baptist University and Christina Johnson, OBU visiting assistant professor of theater arts.
In addition, the Clark County Historical Association, Mary Ellen Taylor, Evelyn Good, Mary Jo Mann, Wanda Hunneycutt and Laverne Todd have contributed to the exhibit.
According to Henshaw, the idea for the display was hatched when he was approached by Farrell Ford of the Clark County Arts and Humanities Council. Henshaw reached out to Johnson for input on what the display would feature.
“We talked and we decided to do a Fashion Extravaganza and do fashion from all the eras,” said Henshaw.
Because the university’s theater department has featured historical plays, Henshaw had access to historical costumes and accessories.
According to Henshaw, public should come see the exhibit because “it has some interesting pieces that are historical.”
In addition, Henshaw noted that patrons will be able to notice the movement of fashion from one century to the next.
Noting the exhibit from 1725, Henshaw pointed out a cassock worn by priests and other costumes that were made for plays depicting the 1700s.
Items donated by individuals from OBU, Henderson and the community give patrons an idea of what fashion was like in the 1800s.
“We have some really interesting pieces,” said Henshaw.
Henshaw noted a calling card carrier, a business card carrier, that a woman would attach to their belts. The carrier would be used to contain the woman’s identification that she would present if she paid a visit to a neighbor or friend.
The display also has pursues, hats and undergarments from the 19th century. The final leg of the display features clothing from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Henshaw pointed out a lady’s business suit from the 1980s and the coat his father wore on his wedding day. He also noted a pair of gloves that were worn by his great-great-grandmother.
“If somebody came to see it, they would see the fashion.” said Henshaw.
“Some of the older people would see things they have worn and it would bring back memories of what they or their mothers had worn,” Henshaw said.
Henshaw has served as resident costume designer/professor of theatre arts at Henderson State University since 2000. He has been involved with the costume and makeup designs for more than 60 main stage productions as either designer or faculty mentor for the students. He has also designed costumes for the HSU Dance Company spring concerts, HSU Opera Workshop and other special performances.
Henshaw received his Master’s of Fine Arts in Drama from San Diego State University in 1996. He has designed costumes for Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, Houston Children’s Theater Festival, San Diego State University Opera and designed make-up for Fort Worth’s Circle Theatre and Houston Children’s Theatre Festival and Texas Christian University.
Henshaw is a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Costume Commission and has been recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
The Arkadelphia Arts Center is located at 625 Main St. For more information, visit www.CCAHC.