Costume College

Back From Costume College

And I had a blast! It just gets more and more fun, mostly because more of my friends go, and I’m making more and more friends from far flung locales, both online and at College.

On Thursday night we went to the Livejournal meetup, which was lots of fun. Wore the pink & black 1950s dress, which is fabulous and comfortable. I was excited to meet and hang out with lots of LJ people.

Friday I went to a class on Millinery (which had interesting bits, but was less of an overview than tips and tricks), then taught my 18th century hairstyles/makeup class in the afternoon. The class went really well — people seemed into it, got the idea, and the hair/makeup that I did on the models turned out great. I so love that period, and it was great getting real height on Lynne’s hair, and Jennifer turned out to have the perfect Gainsborough looks for the 1780s. In the evening was the GBACG meetup, a Friday institution if I say so myself! Tons of fun, lots of GBACG people and lots of people from other places. Really, it’s just an excuse to hang out in costume and have pink drinks! I wore my 1910 Lady Maud dress, which looked great on, although I found out too late that it’s a tiny bit too low in the back so somethings you could see bits of my corset peeking out. Bastards! I don’t think I have any of the silk left, but if I randomly do I’ll put a little triangle insert. After the GBACG meetup, many of us trooped to Kevin & Andy’s room for yet another party. Lots of absolutely fabulous people being totally hilarious. I shall never forget Jennifer being shy and Frannie telling me about NYC!

By Saturday, exhaustion was setting in but I persevered – taught my 1750-1790 overview (surprisingly lots of people, given that it was a repeat from last year!) and I got some good suggestions on how to rework it should I do it again. In the afternoon, I started setting my hair for the gala then went to Sarah’s French Hood class, which was GREAT – exactly the kind of research I love, coming from primary sources. I was so tired that I didn’t start my mockup, but instead went back to finish setting my hair, so that I was ready when Sarah finished to style her hair.

Saturday night was the gala and it was grand. I wore my mystery project – an 1870-71 stripey bustle dress! I will do a write up very soon to tell you more about what I did, in the meantime there are lots of pictures. My hair turned out great — did my own in ringlets, used my giant braid plus another narrower one in front, and I wore a tiara – yay! There were so many amazing costumes I couldn’t even start to list, but I particularly loved Sarah’s raspberry francaise, Trystan’s over the top Elizabethan, Kat’s Tudor with gorgeous gable hood, Lauren’s amazing blue brocade bustle dress, and Lynne’s gorgeous 1850s that was so perfectly accessorized. We had fabulous fun, eating, taking pictures, dancing to silly disco music, and stayed until the end (about 11:30ish?). I was ready to fall over, so into bed I went.

Sunday morning was the underwear breakfast, for which we dressed up but looked like death. I wore my 18th century undies, easy as I was putting on my chemise gown later. I was brilliant and purposefully didn’t loosen my curls after setting the night before, so both Sarah and I slept in hairnets and had hair that was perfect for ratting into a 1780s hedgehog. I went to the first hour of Trystan’s class on historical purses and then Lauren and Vanessa’s vintage clothing/patterns class.

In the afternoon was the tea. This was the first time I’d gone since the first year I’d attended, and it was lots of fun except for again being dead exhausted. Again, tons of fabulous costumes, especially Colleen’s Alice costume. After the tea, all of the chemise dress wearers met for pictures, and Sally was the perfect art director for us. Sunday night we hung out in the hospitality suite, Monday went fabric shopping in the garment district, and then the trek home.

I’m finally unpacked and got my 5 billion photos uploaded — you can see them here. As always, if you’d like a high res version of one just email me!


Also, I’m sure many of you have heard that Costume College 2008 sold out AT Costume College this year. I’m going to repost what I wrote in Livejournal, just because I think it’s important:

“I’m also sure most everyone has heard about the sell out for 2008. I’m hoping Costume College puts out some information soon, as anything I know is 4th-hand and SO not official. But my 4th-hand and unofficial understanding is that: they can’t grow without much more volunteer work (both at College but most especially in the planning pre-season), and they have maxed out on the space available in the hotel — they literally can’t grow without moving to another hotel, and anyone who has gone knows how complicated that would be (meaning how accomodating the Airtel is). I would add that I know that they are just as worried about the situation as all of us (I’m really really sad for those who can’t attend), and are in the beginnings of planning how to deal with this. Anyone who attended received a green survey about your thoughts re: the future of Costume College, and very few were turned in at College. I strongly recommend that you fill those out and mail them in — hopefully they’ll maybe do an email/web poll as well (I did make that suggestion)? I’ll also point out that this is the first year this has ever happened, so we’ve all had many many chances to attend (whether we knew about its existence or it was feasible for us to go). I just don’t want anyone to think that the CC organizers are mean/exclusionary. They literally can’t accomodate more people in this hotel, and it’s not the organizers’ fault that there was a run on memberships last year and this year. I think it’s a lesson to us all that we need to pitch in to make happen the things we love. Let’s work WITH the CC organizers to create a good solution.

“And for anyone having angst, I will point out that I think Costume Con 26 is going to be a particularly fabulous opportunity to learn about costuming and socialize with other costumers. Granted, it’s different from Costume College, but I think it will fulfill those same functions and they can take as many sign ups as they get. So register! I know that many historical costumers don’t think of Costume Con as being as relevant as Costume College to their interests, but knowing the organizers and esp. knowing the Bay Area costuming community (which is very heavily historical) that they will be drawing on, I think it’s going to be fabulous. So if you’re sad about missing Costume College, get right up and buy your Costume Con membership. And give your time and energy, whether it’s to Costume College, Costume Con, or whatever your local costume-related organization is. I know from my experience with the GBACG, there’s no way these organizations can exist without the blood, sweat, and tears of volunteers. And you know what? It’s incredibly rewarding and you make fabulous friends.”

I’ll add that for Northern California costumers, we also have GBACG’s Costume Academy; plus the GBACG events, workshops, and salons, which are basically a Costume College spread out over the year!

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  • Reply wendy August 9, 2007 at 4:44 am

    I saw side & back photos of your stripey bustle dress and came close to squeeking “Monet picnic” at work. I thought I recognised you and was all anticipatory hoping it was your mystery costume.

    More stripey goodness !!

  • Reply Lauren August 9, 2007 at 4:46 am

    Your gowns were to DIE for, but what’s new? And you are the hair masta.
    I snagged a few pics, hope you don’t mind! :)

  • Reply Holly August 9, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Yes, the results of your hair class were fantastic! And I really love the new stripy bustle gown.

  • Reply padawansguide August 9, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    I wish I could have taken your hair class – I read what you wrote about it on our 18th century page. If you have any other tips you could post, that would be great! :-)

  • Reply Kate in England August 9, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    You all look amazing, and I love your Victorian hair with the Dress Of All Gorgeousness – utterly fabulous.

  • Reply Dawn Eldred August 9, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    Oh, everyone looked so fabulous! And I love your striped bustle gown–it turned out beautifully. I am hoping someday to be able to attend Costume College or Con–it looks like so much fun!


  • Reply Trystan L. Bass August 10, 2007 at 12:04 am

    YAY!!!! Prettiness!!! I’ll be begging for hirez copies post-haste :-)

  • Reply mala_14 August 10, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Beautiful pictures! It looks like it was a fantastic time. Your dress turned out wonderfully! Not only does it look gorgeous on its own, but it really suits you to a “t”.

  • Reply Alessandra August 11, 2007 at 12:02 am

    The grey striped bustle dress is magnificent. You look wonderful in it! It sounds like you had a great time.

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