Showing posts from November, 2018

Book Review: Patterns of Fashion 5!

Patterns of Fashion 5: The content, cut, construction and context of bodies, stays, hoops and rumps c. 1595-1795  - Years in the making, and I think we're all very excited to have it out at last! A little background, if you're not familiar with it: Janet Arnold wrote the original two Patterns of Fashion  books (1660-1860 and 1860-1940) in the 1960s, and followed them up in 1985 with a third based on 1560-1620. A fourth was published posthumously on shirts, smocks, ruffs, etc. in roughly the same time period (she worked on Elizabethan and Shakespearian dress quite a bit), based on her original material, edited and added to by Jenny Tiramani (longtime professional costume designer with a passion for accuracy) and Santina Levey (a lace/embroidery specialist). Patterns of Fashion 5  is likewise based on her patterns and notes, but has been very extensively added to by Jenny Tiramani and Luca Costigliolo (also a costume designer; the two have worked together for a long time).

“Dresses All Worn Long in the Evening”: Fashion in the “Provincial Lady” Diaries of E. M. Delafield

(In October, I attended the Costume Society of America Southeastern/Mid-Atlantic Symposium in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. My debut as a conference speaker! I presented this paper.) "Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood (née de la Pasture)", Howard Coster, ca. 1938; National Portrait Gallery x10669 Edmée Elizabeth Monica de la Pasture Dashwood (1890-1943), better known by her punning nom de plume E. M. Delafield, penned dozens of novels and plays about middle- and upper-class British society in her short life. She was already a successful author when Margaret Mackworth, Viscountess Rhondda, asked her to write a "space-filler" for the feminist literary magazine, Time and Tide , in 1929. This filler, very much based on the author's life and acquaintances, was titled Diary of a Provincial Lady , serially printed, and eventually published in book form in 1930. The unnamed protagonist's social standing is only indirectly stated: she is certainly below the elega

A New Kind of Transitional Stay

Hello! It's been a while - due to American politics, personal issues, and other factors, I just haven't had the energy to spend on historical sewing or writing about fashion (beyond what I do for AskHistorians; link to my profile if you'd like to read some short articles on a variety of social history topics) - but last month, I attended the 2018 CSA Mid-Atlantic/Southeastern Biregional Symposium in Shippensburg, PA. It was quite a trip! I was so happy to meet up with so many fashion history scholars, and particularly to meet Ann Wass (of Riversdale House Museum ), Mackenzie Anderson Sholtz (of Fig Leaf Patterns ), and Lydia Edwards (author of How to Read a Dress ). You can see all of my photos of the exhibition at the Shippensburg Fashion Archives and Museum on Instagram ! I delivered a paper of my own, which I hope to turn into a podcast episode/blog post soon, but what really thrilled me was the presentation Mackenzie gave, "A Transitional Corset and its Companion