Costume designs for Carnival royalty

Olga Peters was a twentieth-century New Orleans artist and teacher, whose interests included ballet, choreography, ceramics, metalwork, and fashion design.  She was educated at Newcomb College and Tulane University, through a Master of Arts in 1940. In 1983, she donated her numerous and imaginative costume design drawings and paintings to Tulane University, specifically those created for the krewes of Dorians, Bards of Bohemia, and Babylon.   LaRC Manuscripts Collection 684, Olga Peters Drawings, 1927-1976, also includes typed correspondence, Carnival and social ephemera, and several  black and white photographs of the fanciful costumes being worn by the local royalty for whom they were custom-made.  

Another similar contemporary collection is Coralie Guarino Davis Costume Designs, 1953-1981 (LaRC Manuscripts Collection 723).  Featured there are drawings for krewes in New Orleans (Maids of Troy, Ancient Scribes), New Iberia (Andalusia), and Lafayette (Faed Setum).   Both collections are primarily designs for women’s gowns, but secondarily include some designs for men’s Carnival costumes.       

Caption:  from Collection 684, Box 1, Olga Peters' design drawing of a ball gown for the 1953 Queen of Dorians, accompanied by an 8x10 photograph featuring Betty Blain wearing the finished gown.  Images of items from the Louisiana Research Collection may not be republished without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers


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