CrisStan Clothes – Witte Museum Collection
Presenters: Harriet Christian and Margaret King Stanley
September Meeting Program
September 14, 2015 – 9:30 AM
Location: Witte Museum – Memorial Auditorium
Harriet Christian and Margaret King Stanley will speak about their former business, CrisStan Clothes, manufactured in San Antonio in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The ChrisStan line was carried across the state in exclusive boutiques and written up in Woman’s Wear Daily. In an interview with the designers (featured in San Antonio’s Express & News, Sunday March 5, 1967 edition), Margaret described the creations as “jump suits and patio clothes in wild colors “. . . A yellow label embroidered with an orange sun and with the name “CrisStan” [was] the [clothing line] hallmark. Many ChriStan styles are now part of the Witte Museum’s permanent clothing collection. Clothes from the CrisStan collections will be shown on mannikins as the partners discuss the building of the brand.
Margaret King Stanley – the ‘Stan’ in the CrisStan Clothes brand name, worked as a teacher, clothing and jewelry designer, performing arts administrator, producer and radio host. She has served on numerous boards, including the Opera Guild of San Antonio, San Antonio Symphony League, Metropolitan Opera National Council, and the Texas Commission on the Arts. Stanley has also received various awards for her professional and volunteer achievements.
For 14 years, Stanley was the host of a weekly radio program, “On Stage with Margaret King Stanley,” that focused on the arts through interviews with performing arts celebrities. The program aired on Trinity University’s KRTU-FM.
An Inventory of the Margaret King Stanley Papers, 1948-2009, a collection of documents outlining Margaret King Stanley’s extensive work within the San Antonio arts community, is held in the UTSA Libraries, Special Collections.
Harriet Christian was the ‘Cris’ in CrisStan. A long-time resident of San Antonio, she has been active in art, drama, and music organizations. She has a particular interest in folk art, especially ethnic textiles and served as the organizing chairman for Bazaar Sabado at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
In the 80’s, her gallery, Collections, presented art to wear, working with nationally known fiber artists. For the past ten years she has volunteered at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market in July. Her present focus is the preservation and support of the historic Neill-Cochran House Museum, an 1855 structure in Austin that was designed and built by Abner Cook who also built the Texas Governor’s Mansion. Original fashion, however, is never far from her thoughts and she collects and treasures unique examples whenever she finds them.
Harriet’s husband, Frank P. Christian and his rich baritone voice took center stage in countless San Antonio musicals, operas, operettas and plays. Frank was the city’s most famous singing and acting lawyer.
Free parking can be found at the Witte garage across from the main building. Entrance to the museum is on the park side. There is no charge to enter the museum for this presentation.
Refreshments will be served after the program.
Image of Margaret King Stanley is from: http://outinsa.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/OISA_Couch_MKS.jpg
Image of Harriet Christian generously provided by Harriet Christian.
Image of the Witte Museum by photographer Steven Perez: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WitteMuseumBackGate_by_silas216.jpg