We Wore More Than Shackles:
Threads Baring Truth
The delightful BunnFunn Collection is historical-fiction via period fashion that takes its audience on an informative journey, with a focus on women’s histories. This journey into quietly kept history begins with We Wore More Than Shackles: A Day in the Life of Seneca Village ~ The Abolitionists. In 1827, during the abolitionist era, New York City’s already independently wealthy, free and recently emancipated people strove to create and nurture their own self-sufficient communities. They established Seneca Village in what is now Central Park West, which flourished over decades and embraced diverse immigrant seekers of safe havens, setting a tone throughout New York City’s development. In Seneca and similar villages there were women with great business acumen, who funded and managed community organizations and institutions, expanding their lives and the lives of others out to what is now the Greater NYC area. Their efforts enticed like-minded people from both neighboring cities and ports unknown, who relocated to NYC, resulting in the development of new cultural environments. This work makes them Women of Distinction. Their stories are told through Sara Bunn’s expertly executed visions of these characters’ apparel expressions, some accompanied by photographic portraits commemorating them.
This exhibit is a collaboration with Black America’s history, fashion, fabrics and photography that fills the void of professional images of important people, from the foundation of cultural style and into the 21st Century. Sara Bunn, the creator of the BunnFunn Collection, is a storyteller of submerged heroes and heroines of American history. She is a griot. She relishes in sharing her interpretation of their stories, combining fashion design and historical facts. The garments and accessories in the BunnFunn Collection express a fashion homage to individuals that were, and are, influential to this country’s evolution. The fabrics that Bunn has chosen are based on cultural textile designs that highlight the origins of her subjects, and the design of the garments convey the character, contributions, and the accomplishments of people of color. Since We Wore More Than Shackles debuted at the Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum, N.Y., the Collection has continued to grow. In each exhibition, Bunn introduces us to more characters of significance and plans to include other groups that have been misrepresented or rendered invisible, most whom have been lost in our telling and writing of history.
photo credit: Ocean Morisset, follow him on Instagram.