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Redthreaded Blog — historical costuming

An Autumnal 1887 Bustle Dress

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An Autumnal 1887 Bustle Dress

This brown and black plaid silk taffeta was originally earmarked for something 1850's, but once the weather began changing in September, I decided it would make a perfectly autumnal 1880's bustle gown. I honed in on 1886/7 for the gown because I love the cleaner, tailored, and asymmetrical lines seen in the later bustle period. Like most of my personal projects, I threw this together in a few weeks and didn't make many notes on the process. But here are some construction details. I visited my family in Rhode Island last week, which was the perfect setting for some fall photos....

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Costume College 2017 Recap -- Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Wig

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Costume College 2017 Recap -- Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Wig

"Costume College: a bunch of introverts fangirling at each other from across rooms. But in the best way."

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Introducing the 1790's Stays

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Introducing the 1790's Stays

We have a new stays style! HISTORYAhhh, the 1790's. What a weird but delightful little moment in fashion. I love that modern costumers are giving this decade more attention, because there are some really lovely things to be found at the tail end of the 18th century.  Theresa, Countess Kinsky by Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun, 1793 (Norton Simon Museum) The Honorable Lucy Elizabeth Byng by John Hoppner, 1799 (The Frick) Portrait of Natalia Zakharovna Kolycheva, née Hitrovo by Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun, 1799 (Dallas Museum of Art)(I was a frequent visitor to this museum in high school...there's a bad pencil sketch of this...

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"That Waist!" - Photo Editing at the Turn of the Century

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"That Waist!" - Photo Editing at the Turn of the Century

Out of pure curiosity, I decided to employ some old fashioned retouching techniques to one of my Worth Gown photos. The results are fascinating.

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My visit to the Collection at the DAR

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My visit to the Collection at the DAR

I'm sitting here going over photos from this past month and wondering how is it nearly May? April was full of work and travel; fast-paced projects bookended by two trips out of state.  One of the trips took me to Washington DC, where I was extremely lucky to be part of a behind the scenes tour of the Agreeable Tyrant exhibit, led by non other than curator Alden O'Brien. Upon meeting up with us, she took us through a nondescript door into the clothing, textile, and furniture storage.  And then she opened a drawer that held a stunning example of...

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