Have you heard about Europeana Fashion yet? It’s an attempt to the take the fashion-related collections from a number of European museums and put them into one big database. Sounds cool right? Well it is!
Casta paintings are fascinating sources on multiple levels. “Casta” is a Spanish word meaning “race,” “kind,” or “lineage” (“Between ‘Casta’ and ‘Raza'”). It was a term used in 18th century Latin America to refer to a hierarchy of ethnicity, whereby people were categorized based on their ancestry. Different terms were defined not just for people of Native American, Spanish, and African heritage, but also for different mixtures (so, for example, a castizo was the child of one Spanish and one mestizo [one Spanish, one Native American parent] parent).
Speaking of auctions, as I did in my last post, reminded me that I occasionally like to troll through auction sites for images. It’s a great way to find new-to-you portraits and sculpture, and sometimes even extant clothing.
Here’s a few things that I’ve found lately that I liked — almost all 18th century, of course! Because that’s how I roll.
This was a great post over on Worn Through, giving the backstory on an auction of historic costume and textiles:
This auction gathers textile elements from the 18th century but also rare costumes of the 18th and 19th century kept until now by old aristocratic French families that never hesitated to use those historical garments as fancy costumes.
Here are a few interesting things I found in the online catalog:
Last fall I took a trip to New York, where I was lucky to see the just-closed Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, called “Death Becomes Her.”
The exhibit was relatively small, but not TOO small, and it was full of a lot of stunning items. Here’s a few thoughts!
So! While I haven’t actually DONE anything about my 18th century court dress (see: wig book, busy fall semester, Dickens Fair), I have done a little bit of thinking about it.
Specifically, when I was thinking last summer of trying to “bang out” this sucker (which obviously wasn’t going to happen, but one can dream), I was trying to think of ways to save time on the embroidery:
I’ve been blogging about historical costume since 2002. Thirteen years later, and I think I’ve gotten burned out! Obviously. I’m still dressing up and performing, and still sewing, although at a slower pace than previously. I think I’ve just been at this so long, plus now there are so many blogs and other ways to interact with other costumers, plus maybe I’m old and tired? I also performed at Dickens Fair this year, which sucked up November & December. Plus, I’m also still recovering from the wig book!