Grisham-Trentham lecture brings Atlanta bridal gown designer to campus

Anne BargeAUBURN – Anne Barge, a noted bridal gown designer based in Atlanta, will be the keynote speaker at the 25th annual Grisham-Trentham Lecture Series at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 29 in the auditorium of The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. The event is free to the public.

Professor Lenda Jo Connell called Barge’s appearance in Auburn “a real feather in our cap” as she is known nationally and internationally for blending classic and contemporary styles to create distinct bridal collections for every bride.

Rather than using slides to illustrate her designs for the lecture, Connell said Barge will bring 10 gowns from her latest collection, giving guests “a very personal look at what she does.”

Barge will also talk about her career path, which started with an apprenticeship at Priscilla of Boston and led to the establishment of the Anne Barge Bridal Collection in 1999. She expanded her line in 2010 with an evening wear collection that quickly became popular with celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Julia Ormond and Amber Riley of “Glee.”

Before the lecture, the atrium of the conference center will exhibit creative designs from apparel design students, as well as works for the interior design team competition.

Winners of a private apparel design showcase held Wednesday, March 28 at the Auburn home of Tim and Kim Hudson will be announced after Thursday’s lecture. The showcase is not open to the public.

With the interior of the Hudson home designed by Charlotte Gaston, of Charlotte Gaston Interiors in Montgomery, Carol Warfield, head of the Department of Consumer Affairs in the College of Human Sciences, said the evening will be an opportunity for the department’s top design students “to see unique features that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.” Gaston is also a member of the college’s interior design advisory board.

Members of the interior design and apparel design advisory boards are in town for their annual meetings and will be guests at the private showcase.

“It will be an opportunity for our board members to interact with our best students,” said Warfield.

The Grisham-Trentham Lecture Series was started at Auburn University in 1987 by professor Gary Trentham as a way of bringing world-class designers and business leaders to campus to share their experiences with Auburn students. It is supported by an endowment created by the late Charles Grisham, an Auburn alumnus, and Betty Grisham, an artist and textile designer, from Huntsville.

(Written by Amy Weaver.)

Contacts: Lenda Jo Connell, College of Human Sciences, (334) 844-3789 (, or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (