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Maggie Yates, Contributor

Cover Story Author Explores History of Santa Barbara Costuming

Maggie Yates
Paul Wellman

Name: Maggie Yates

Title: Contributor

What inspired you to write about this exhibit? I’ve long been interested in historic costuming and how fashion offers insight into the social expectations of the wearer. I’m also an avid celebrator of women’s history; this exhibit offers a fascinating look at Santa Barbara women’s history and the delicate artistry of fashion and beauty.

Do you have a favorite gown? My favorite is the Anita de la Guerra wedding dress. It’s such a personal piece that offers a connection to the legacy and traditions of Santa Barbara — I enjoyed learning about the history and people that inspired Fiesta.

Any women you now want to know more about? I’m fascinated by Ganna Walska’s storied life. In her 96 years, she married six times and created the Lotusland botanic gardens on her estate in Montecito. Her struggling opera career also apparently inspired the character of Susan Alexander in Citizen Kane. I’m looking forward to visiting Lotusland soon!

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