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).
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:
To commemorate 100 years since World War I, Maney Publishing has 100 research articles available for free for to read through the month of August. Here are the articles related to dress history:
- From the ‘union parfaite’ to the ‘union brisée’: The French Couture Industry and the midinettes during the Great War
Maude Bass-Krueger, Costume
- Cutting a New Pattern: Uniforms and Women’s Mobilization for War 1854–1919
Barton C Hacker and Margaret Vining, Textile History
- In Pursuit of Legitimacy: Home Economists and the Hoover Apron in World War I
Joan L Sullivan, Dress
- Dyes, Chemistry and Clothing: The Influence of World War I on Fabrics, Fashions and Silk
Jacqueline Field, Dress
- ‘The monotonousness of this grey uniform’. Design and Mass Production for a Neutral State: the Dutch Uniform 1912–1940
Mark van Hattem and Mariska Pool, Textile History
- Military Uniforms in the Southern Low Countries and in Belgium before 1915: Institutional History and Socio-Economic Approaches
Pierre Lierneux, Textile History
Hopefully this is of interest to somebody!
Two random links of interest!
Madame Isis has posted a fabulous write-up on the history of the beauty patch covering the 16th to the 20th centuries on her historical toilette blog.
Reading Natalie Garbett’s post on on studying and producing historical costume referred me to the free Chateau de Malmaison (the former home of Empress Josephine) costume app, which has some stunning images of Regency court costume. Did I mention it’s free?
Last May, I posted a review of Wissner boning (aka “German plastic boning”), and mentioned (okay, kind of ranted) that baleen wasn’t an option for boning as whales are an endangered species. My friend and fellow costumer Sahrye emailed me privately with some very interesting information on whaling and conservation — she’s a marine biologist and so knows far more about this than I do. I asked if, in the spirit of discussion, she’d be willing to share what she wrote with readers of my blog and she said she would.
So here you are, my first guest post ever, written by Sahrye — whose blog (It Came From the Stash!) is fabulous, by the way!
Work has been busy, plus I’ve been watching lots of shlocky 1940s-set tv shows/movies (Bomb Girls, Land Girls, The War Bride, etc.) so I’ve been on a modern/vintage sewing kick!
In the meantime, I recommend reading this article from Humanities Magazine about the backstory of the Illuminating Fashion exhibition & book. I’d be interested in knowing what medieval costumers think of the book — does it provide a lot of new information?
Possibly old news to you, but the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Fashion department has recently-ish revamped their website and added a lot of interesting content — mostly articles, some videos. You can get to the main hub here, but here are some specific items of interest:
- Underwear: From Corsets to Bullet Bras and Back (video)
- Introduction to the Fashion Gallery (video)
- Corsets & Crinolines in Victorian Fashions
- Crinolines, Crinolettes, Bustles and Corsets from 1860-1880
- Behind the Scenes: Conservation of a Victorian Wedding Dress
- Corsets and Bustles from 1880-90: the Move from Over Structured Opulence to the ‘Healthy Corset’
- Men’s Court Dress: Russia 1720s-1917
- A History of Pockets
- Embroidery Pattern Books, 1523-1700
- Introduction to English Embroidery
- Designs for Embroidered Fashion: Lady Middleton’s Pattern
- Conservation of the May Primrose Dress (1885)
- Conservation of James II’s Wedding Suit