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RTM Department: Betty D. Eastin Collection: Anita Madden Collection

This research guide acts as a resource for those interested in the field of historic costume. This guide was created by Sarah K. Piester for her Master of Science degree in Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles.

Anita Madden's Derby Eve Costumes

Anita Madden (1933-present), pictured above with Dennis Cole, is a Kentucky native and long term Lexingtonian who is widely known for her extravagant Derby Eve parties and her support of the Boy's Ranch and other charities. On this Research Guide, you will see eleven derby eve costumes worn by Madden between 1978 and 1998. The Madden family was kind enough to allow us to document these one-of-a-kind costumes; these costumes are not in our collection but we wanted this significant person and collection to be preserved. In addition, you will see nine outfits and other items that belong to Mrs. Madden.

We are indebted to Isabella Clark, Jamin Waite, and Aszland Thornton for their collective work to bring this lib guide to the public.

1978 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.1

Date or Time Period: 1978

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Silver metal mesh halter top with matching floor-length skirt and side slit. The halter top has a low droop collar neck line that separates cleavage. Skirt is secured by camouflaged zipper and a drawstring. Black feather boa accessory. 

Description: The heavy material fits the main attraction glamour for an upscale gala. The feather boa and exposure of the back are nods to the glam of the 1970s. The popularity of halters and mesh material were enhanced by the 1970s disco culture, which made this design more unique for a formal affair. 

1980 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.2

Date or Time Period: 1980

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Fuchsia and magenta metal mesh halter top, skirt, and jacket. Jacket has leather reptile skin leather appearance on upper back, upper chest, and sleeves. Mid-length skirt with slit in the back, secured with zipper and drawstring.

Description: The combination of the fabrics allows for some textural juxtaposition with the luminescence of the metal mesh versus the matte shine of the leather. This is an excellent nod to the 1960s and 1970s with the reptile print and the popular metal mesh of the times. Jacket made by Ferrara’s Fashion Mesh.



1987 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.3. 

Date or Time Period: 1987

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Gold (with some pink undertone) long sleeve sequined, floor length dress. Translucent. Minimal shoulder pads. Jewel embellishments along neck line.

Description: This dress is excellent show of the versatility of Madden and how her dress choices strayed from the expectation. The simple design and length are not usually associated with the 1980s fashion, but the translucence and curve-hugging add her signature flair for the grandiose.   

 

1989 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.4 

Date or Time Period: 1989

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Japanese-inspired two-piece. Gold, blue, hints of orange and green. Long sleeve crop top with zipper down the back. Top also has jewel embellishment across chest and hanging pendant. Bottoms are pants with a dramatic flair. Gold lining around jacket and hipline of pants. Simple gold strap open-toe heels.  

Description: Madden’s costume prescribes to the attire instructions of a ‘kinky kimono.’ The open midriff contrasts the long sleeves and pants to alter the usual modesty of traditional kimonos. The large flair of the pants steers from the late 1980s time period in which the event was held, but the grandiose was not lost. Outfit made by Malcolm Starr International Designed by Rizkallah.

 

1990 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.5 

Date or Time Period: 1990

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Floor length cape and matching hat. Purple, black, and sprayed gold feathers. Flat gold embellishments on feathers and around neckline. Joe Devers made the purple feather cape.  

Description: This elaborate ensemble was worn for “TC’s Black and White Dance,” calling for black tie and masks. Madden’s choice was show-stopping as promised. The hefty headpiece adorned in jewels and feathers shadowed the eyes and brought it’s own sense of mysterium. The style reminisced to the playful and sensual mood of the 1920s.

1990s Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.6 

Date or Time Period: 1990s

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Black three-piece satin costume: jacket, blouse, and skirt. Jacket is outlined in thin, black feathers. Blouse is sleeveless with a fan-like accessory attached to left shoulder strap. Bottom of blouse has triangle shaped cut outs. Skirt is floor-length with a slit up to mid-thigh on front side. Black sequins with the head of a horse in white sequins and black feathers.

Description: In true derby fashion, a horse is the crowned jewel, as is the mask to this feathery ensemble. The simple design of the timeless satin black dress is dated and themed by another gathering for the annual Kentucky Derby. Seemingly more reserved than other show stoppers worn by Mrs. Madden, this sleek dress design in elevated by one of her signature feathered capes.

 

1991 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.7 

Date or Time Period: 1991

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Bronze-sequined mermaid dress. Bronze toile for approximately three-foot train. Gold and bronze embellishments for faux fish scales.  Translucent fish net mesh covering the stomach.

Description: The “Rapture of the Deep” theme was littered in sultry tones—women’s suggested dress being “as bare as you dare” for an evening in Atlantis. This mermaid dress is busty and figure-hugging as the skirt proceeds into the train. The translucent fishnet solidifies the the boldly seductive atmosphere.

1992 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.8 

Date or Time Period: 1992

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Light blue satin dress with feather trim. Translucent, nude mesh across mid-section.Detached blue satin sleeves with light blue feathers and jewel embellishments. Matching feather hat with light blue and lavender feathers. 

Description: The Land of the Midnight Sun themed derby party was gifted with this showy light blue wonder. This is an atypical representation for the last decade of the 20th century. The single color is the only thing alluding to the 1990s, while the feathers, silver straps, and pendants have their own Madden flair for the lavish.

1995 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.9

Date or Time Period: 1995

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Red satin gown trimmed in red feathers. Silver and gold jewels cover dress and detached sleeves. Mid-thigh hem in front of dress that extends into feathered red train in the back. Internal fabric for skirted part of dress is covered in red sequins. Matching red feather headpiece with small jewels.

Description: Similar to her 1992 ensemble, Madden stepped into a style with feathers and pendants. With a slight train and  graceful headpiece, the figure-hugging costume is playful—fitting to the theme, “The Fun Also Rises.” Dressed in her own adaptation of her favorite Hemingway character per the invitation’s request, she came prepared. 

1996 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.10

Date or Time Period: 1996

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Yellow silk four-piece suit: hot pants, crop top, jacket, and cape. Bejeweled crop top is secured by clasps and hooks down the back length. Jacket has bejeweled lapels, high-waist split coat tails, and is secured by a jewel string latch between pendants. Cape is floor length with yellow feather outline. 

Description: “Casino couture” calls for a statement piece and Madden’s suit was fitting for any star-studded event. Layers could be removed freely adding to the sensual, lighthearted nature of the party. “Derby Eve Showtime” immersed guests into the atmosphere of a Las Vegas adventure from the casinos to the flurry of shows and entertainment. 

  

 

1998 Derby Eve Party Costume

Registration No.: 17.11

Date or Time Period: 1998

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: 100% yellow and white silk dress. Beaded flower design. Floor length, straight skirt. High waist. U-neck. Pale yellow feather cape with green internal lining. Translucent clear heels.

Description: This combination was assembled of two of Mrs. Madden’s ensembles. The dress was designed by Haute Couture International. The simple, elegant gown was paired with the contrasting cape and the translucent pumps—a great show of transformation and simplicity among the likes  of the grandeur of Mrs. Madden’s costume collection. Yet, the luxury is not lost for the 100% silk ensemble.

First Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.12

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hostingmany politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Polyester, and spandex white halter top. Hologram is nylon and spandex on chest and flared on front and back of top. Blue pants with vertical outer thigh jewel and metal pendants are nylon and spandex as well. 

 

 

Second Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.13

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Micro feather purple jacket. Floor length, rayon crepe fabric purple sheath dress with waist tie. Right leg high slit. Jewel neckline.  Gold, green, and purple fish statement on front on dress with single orange jewel for an eye.

 

Third Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.14

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Red fiber yarn and gold lamé two-piece, strapless dress and jacket. Gold faux leather material present on top of strapless dress, front of jacket, and approximately three inches on each shoulder leading down to the end of the jacket back. Gold lamé was stitched to create flower design. Small jewels and sequins on jacket to accentuate design. Skirt has a long slit in front between the legs and a bow at the top of the skirt to create a tucked allusion.

 

Fourth Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.15

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Red sequined full length skirt connected to double-sided drape for complete dress. High slit in front. Rayon material for back tie and rhombus centerpiece on front of dress. Red pinned boa. Sparkly red heels with black tip and heel. Sequined black mask with red outline, including a spade, club, heart and diamond. 

 

Fifth Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.16

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: White floor-length viscose halter dress with felt flowers. Pink fur short-sleeve jacket with braids that are beaded on the ends. Charles Jourdan blue peaked strap heels with thin, gold stripes and a gold heel breast. 

 

Sixth Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.17

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Sheer, pink crepe fabric. Pink and red sequins line the ruffled slit of the dress and the bust line. Main dress fabric is polyester and spandex. Thin, gold chains line the leaf and flower design in the crepe material that also has small gold sequins. Yellow and red fans. 

  

 

 

Seventh Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.18

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Black, polyester blend one-shoulder dress. A-line with subtle pleats in the train. Fabric decoration attachment along back of left shoulder. Designed by Travilla. Accompanied by feathered headpiece and hanging jewel strings.  ***Outfit was worn to 1970s Breeders Cup gala in Los Angeles.

Eighth Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.19

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars.

Fabric: Cream chiffon rayon floor-length dress. Lacy flower embroidery on bottom of extended sleeves and skirt with lighter fabric. Full embroidery around neckline, down to the waist. ‘M’embroidery on back of hem with small birds. 

 

Ninth Non-Derby Outfit

Registration No.: 17.20

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: Mint green, polyester and rayon full-length dress with inverted v-shaped hemline in the front. The back hemline has a slight arc, and fabric on sides that cover the ground. Rippled texture created by fabric design on midsection. Plunging neckline.

 

White Skirt

Registration No.: 17.21

Date or Time Period: Unknown

Loaned: Anita Madden

Date Received: 2017

Worn by: Anita Madden (1933 - Present), was born in Ashland, Kentucky and currently resides in Lexington, KY. Her roles as a community activist and businesswoman have influenced Kentucky business progression and commissions. Madden is mostly recognized for her and her husband's extravagant Kentucky Derby galas that were held in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was the main attraction, hosting many politicians, authors, and notable movie stars. 

Fabric: 100% polyester white skirt. Soft pleating. Buttons with two light tan buttons in the front of the skirt. Front slit that leads to buttons. Attached white shorts underneath skirt. 

Hats

Headpieces worn by Mrs. Anita Madden.

 

Purses

Handbags used by Mrs. Madden.

Shoes

Shoes and boots worn by Mrs. Anita Madden.