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PRESS PHOTO BY By DEB BOYLAN Lorita Musselman, left, presents PRESS PHOTO BY By DEB BOYLAN Lorita Musselman, left, presents "Miss Lorita's Vintage Fashions," Sept 1 at the Allentown Fair. Models include Jennifer McKeever, right.

Fashion goes vintage at Allentown Fair

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by DEB BOYLAN Special to The Press in Focus

Bethlehem Township woman presenting annual show

Lorita Musselman loves to play dress-up.

"Miss Lorita," as Musselman is known, a knowledgeable collector of antique and vintage apparel, presents "Miss Lorita's Vintage Fashions," 2:15 p.m. Sept 1, Centennial Stage, Agri-Plex, at the Great Allentown Fair.

The 45-minute presentation highlights clothing from the Victorian era through the close of the 20th century.

"Every outfit is complete with accessories typical of the era, including shoes, purses, gloves, hats and maybe a parasol for the Victorian ladies," says Musselman.

Musselman, who owns approximately 200 articles of period clothing, will be showcasing 50 items from her collection. Children through adults will model. A highlight is a model in period bridal attire, accompanied by matching flower girls.

This is the sixth year she's showcasing her vintage fashion collection at the Allentown Fair.

"It is always well-received," she says. "It makes people reminisce. Other exhibitors in the Agri-Plex come over to see our display and they love it."

Jennifer McKeever, a dancer and model with Look Models and Actors Agency, Bethlehem and Doylestown, has participated in past events with Musselman and will be a part of this year's event.

McKeever, a burgeoning apparel collector, has roughly 12 vintage apparel of her own. She became aware of Musselman following a presentation at the historic Henry House, Jacobsburg State Park, Nazareth.

Musselman is quite proud of her collection. A visit to her neatly-kept home in Bethlehem Township reveals a dining room filled with closely-arranged racks of period clothing. For Musselman, attention to detail is key. Everything must be accurate, from undergarments to proper headwear.

She has been accumulating her items for more than a quarter of a century. She delights in sharing her collection with the public. "People always ask questions," she says.

Mussleman adds to her collection at every opportunity. "If I am on vacation and I happen to pass an antiques shop, I always stop in," she says.

She has been hosting shows for 22 of the 25 years she has been collecting vintage garments. She figures she has hosted more than 100 fashion exhibitions. She credits her tenacity for her largess, stopping and shopping at every opportunity that presents itself.

Although the fashion show is composed of female models and women's clothing, it is well-received by male spectators.

"The men just love it," says Musselman. "When the ladies wore hats and gloves, they [males] just like to go back to that time."

The Allentown Fair continues through Sept. 3.