Browsing Category

Costume College

Costume College

Costume College 2009 Membership Info Available

For anyone interested in attending Costume College 2009, they have updated their information on memberships. Basically, it’s going to be a lottery, with Costumers Guild West members getting first crack, then a second lottery with all CGW members who didn’t get in the first lottery and everyone else. In other words, if you want to increase your chances of getting in, join CGW before Sept. 1st. CGW sister organization members (Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild and San Diego Costumers Guild) still get discounted pricing, but don’t get in the first lottery.

Costume College, teaching

Costume College Report & Pictures

Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I’m not sure I can adequately write enough to properly describe this weekend, but I’ll try! As previously reported, we (Sarah, Trystan, and me) drove down early Thursday and made it to the Garment District at 3pm with a perfect amount of time to shop (there was actually some oversleeping and traffic trauma, so we were worried we weren’t going to make it). We were focused shoppers, and I quickly found the fabric that I was looking for, plus some that was looking for me. The court dress fabric is just stunning – I’ll take some pics this afternoon of all my purchases and post them.

Thursday night was the LiveJournal meetup. It was fun to see everyone and a mellow evening. Friday was classes – in the morning I took “Historical Influences in Fashion,” which was fun as this is something I’ve always noticed (for example, 1840s being so heavily styled on 1660s). Had some down time in the middle of the day, so I did some hanging out and chatting in the cafe with many LJ friends and talked to those who wandered by. In the afternoon, I took a class on fairy wings that was very inspirational, although less involved than I’d expected. I did wear my 18th c. tart costume altho took no pictures!

Friday night was the GBACG meetup followed by the pirate and Pretty Pretty Princess parties in the Hospitality Suite. I wore my black francaise and REALLY BIG WIG, and after feeling like the dress looked kind of blah on the mannequin in the CC26 exhibit, I was worried I’d feel blah about the whole thing. Instead, it looked FABULOUS on if I do say so myself, especially with the wig that turned out just amazing (don’t worry, I took lots of pics to post a tutorial on the wig, and I’m going to offer to do a demo next year at College). Had a ton of fun that night running around, having pink drinks and being ridiculously silly and inappropriate with all my friends – we ended up in Diana’s room at the end of the night, dancing on the bed and singing.

Saturday was more classes. Sadly, I overslept and missed Trystan’s class on stripes (I’m really hoping she’ll do it again?), went to our panel on the Eugenie project which was good but needed more time (basically, we talked about what we made and the experience of a group project and being in the masquerade). I wore my what-was-a-1780s-jacket, which became a 1740s jacket (I of course had a last minute yen to wear something totally new, and was inspired to finish that project up – yes, will update the dress diary asap). There was a class cancellation a few days before College, so I volunteered to teach my 18th c. printed cottons class in the afternoon. I wasn’t sure if it went so well as I taught it – it’s always so hard to tell! Especially as I’m really NOT a textiles expert so much as a costume expert, so while this is a topic I’ve geeked out on, I don’t know EVERY in and out.

Saturday night was the gala. I felt like I’d blown my costume wad on Friday night and wished I could have switched so that I wore the black francaise to the gala (as evidenced by my total lack of pictures of the Eugenie dress), but it was also fun to wear the Eugenie dresses with most everyone from the group. As always there were tons of amazing costumes there and I was really impressed by so many. Had lots of fun stalking costumes to take pictures, and dancing and running around with my friends. Ended up going to bed relatively early (11:30ish? shocking!) as I did get a bit grumpy at the end of the night.

Sunday was yet more classes. I wanted to be comfy so went for a repro 1940s dress and sandals. Caught the end of Victorian Ladies Evening Gowns which had lots of nice eye candy, then taught my 16th c. Venetian women’s costume class. Later that afternoon, I taught my 18th c. hair & makeup demo, which was really fun – I’m so into hair/makeup as it so ties the costume together, and I’m just SO into 18th c. right now. The people in the class were fun and had great questions/suggestions (I was extremely flattered that Tara Maginnis of the Costumer’s Manifesto took my class!), and the demos went really well (you can see the results of the 1760s hair/makeup in my pictures).

Sunday night we meant to get out of the hotel to eat, but realized with such a big group it’d work better just to stay in the hotel. I was glad we did, as it meant more time for running around and socializing in the evening – the best part of which was when we ended up in Tara’s room, where she had Marie Antoinette playing on her projector against the wall – got to alternately laugh about ridiculous things and then geek out about the costumes in MA. And then we drove home Monday!

Now my mind is ABSOLUTELY WHIRRING with about 5,000 costumes, all of which I need to make RIGHT NOW… However, I need to stay focused on my new Venetian gown. Gah! I also already know what I want to teach next year, and my mind is whirring with class plans.

So here you are: pictures! And one video: What REALLY happens at Costume College…

Costume College, events, shopping

Costume College Day 1!

I am at Costume College! Yesterday we went to the garment district where I was VERY BAD, to the tune of 12 yards of embroidered/striped silk taffeta for my 1750s-ish French court dress. And some white taffeta for an 18th century masquerade dress I’ve been planning for a while. And 2 more yards of the purple & white striped so I can make a day bodice (the Daniel Deronda dress!) for my 1870-1 evening dress. And jewels for my Tudor dress. eep! Took a class today on historical influences in fashion, off to fairy wings in about 30 min. Wearing the 18th c. tart and looking fabulous, as does everyone else! Yay! More soon.

Costume College

Costume College – the Race to the finish!

Ack! I am feeling overwhelmed by all I have left to do to be ready for Costume College! Need to finish the packing list, go shopping, and do the actual packing. And dye my hair (2″ roots not what I want to have preserved in photos for all time!). Classes are mostly done (luckily they are repeats from previous years), except for photocopying handouts and buying some extra makeup supplies.

The wardrobe will be: 18th c. tart Friday; 1760s mourning francaise Friday night; the what was a 1780s jacket, which I got a wild hair to finish over the last few days, and has morphed into a 1740s jacket – Saturday; the Eugenie/Comtesse de Montebello dress for the Sat. night gala; the comfiest thing I can find for Sunday!

I’ll post details on the 1780s -> 1740s jacket when I get back, as well as final photos (months later!) of the mourning francaise. Plus I restyled my big 1770s wig to have a better understructure, and I took lots of photos for a tutorial, so details on that forthcoming.

Oh, and the Real Women’s Clothing directory is soon to add 1700-1749! Its years change as my interests change.

See most of you at Costume College – save a pink drink for me!

Edited to add: Oh yes, and I’m going to wear the undies from the forthcoming Edwardian suit for Sunday undies breakfast – phew!

Costume College, events, teaching

Looking for Hair/Makeup Models – Costume College

I am once again looking for hair and makeup models for my 18th century hair/makeup demo class on Sunday, 2-5pm at Costume College. You’d need to have hair that takes a curl and is at least shoulder length, and be willing to show up to the class with your hair already rolled (either sleep in rollers the night before and leave them in, or do hot rollers before class and leave them in). I would style you either in a 1760s small pouf, or a 1780s hedgehog; at least one of you will get makeup done as well, possibly both. Let me know if you’re interested!

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!

Costume College

More Costume College Plans

Okay! We are on track! The gala dress is almost done (about 30 min. of handsewing needed, plus I’ll do closures in the car on the way down). Lady Maud fits. 1950s dress has had hem let out. Now I just need to write the packing list of doom, finish up my class presentations and handouts this afternoon, run to the drugstore tonight, pack tomorrow night. I heard “Vogue” on the radio yesterday and it made me all excited. Yay!