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!
I arrived Thursday morning, checked into my room, and headed off to help install the exhibit by about 11-12ish. The exhibit was REALLY cool, but HA-UGE — I ended up spending eleven hours helping install, and they weren’t even done when I left! It was really fun to look at the various costumes close up, especially because some of them were vintage. My mourning dress (front and back) ended up near the back of the exhibit, but still viewable.
Friday I wore my Bet costume, as it is relatively comfy and silly. That was a busy day – first we had the live, studio audience recording of the Frock Flicks podcast, which should be online in a week or two. From there I went to docent the exhibit for an hour, then ran into the 18th century social, then missed the GBACG mini-board meeting in favor of last minute historical masquerade DRAMA (which I won’t go into, but was major and caused many a melt down).
Friday evening, post-drama, was the Victorian Underwear Social, to which I refused to wear Victorian undies! My undies are boring, sorry kids (except maybe my 18th c. stays, which were on my dress form in the exhibit). Instead I wore my candy cane bustle dress – evening version – and had a lovely time chatting and talking shop with other costumers.
Near the end of the social, Trystan and I retired to our room to host the Pretty Pretty Princess party, which turned out to be the party of the CENTURY (yes, even though we’re only 8 years into it!). Apparently we were the only party going that evening, so we had a TON of people there – many good friends, and a bunch of people who I don’t know. There were many cocktails and much jumping on beds singing “I Will Survive” and other ridiculousness.
Saturday my historical masquerade entry group had to be up at the crack of dawn to rehearse our presentation at 8am – urgh! However we got things together quickly, so that was good. I had planned to wear my black & ivory 1920s dress, only to take it out and find it was stained and needed a cleaning. Oh well, jeans for me! I hit the dealer’s room, lounged around, then taught my draping demo in the afternoon. Later I popped in to the GBACG tea in the hospitality suite, then went to Bess & Teddy’s really, really great 16th century panel.
Saturday night was the scifi/fantasy masquerade – I wore my Florentine which continued to have bodice wrinkles and be generally evil. I didn’t make it too late that night – hit the wall of tired and went to bed around 1am (which was early, compared to most everyone else!).
Sunday was mostly spent prepping for the historical masquerade, with workmanship judging and giving ourselves LOTS of time to get ready. The masquerade itself was amazing – definitely very nervous waiting to go on, but then there we went and I forgot about being nervous. There were a lot of really amazing costumes, although I only got to see most of them from backstage – a really gorgeous late 1860s couple, and a woman who did Mme de Pompadour from Dr. Who. I was most excited about Lindsey’s Venetian and Bess’s Elizabethan gowns, both of which won awards, so that was great!! Our presentation went SO well, I was really thrilled – not only did the audience start applauding when Lana/Empress Eugenie came out, but apparently we had some people giving us a standing ovation when it was over. Wow! Totally thrilling! I had so gone into this thinking about wanting to do something amazing and share it with people and NOT about winning awards, so it was the icing on the cake to not only win, but win something so major. After the masquerade a bunch of us hit the bar. And then it was off at a decent hour Monday morning!
So my review? It’s hard to say! Costume Con’s focus is competition and socializing, vs. Costume College which is educational (in fact, I believe College was founded in order to do something that Con was lacking?). Given that focus, I think it was relatively successful. The main gripe I’d have is that while the hotel was large and fabulous (two mirrors/sinks in the bathroom! yes! lots of restaurant/bar options!), it was so spread out that except for the Social and masquerades, you couldn’t actually TELL there were about 800 people there – I would have thought there were more like 100. The Social did well to bring people together; the masquerades in a way did, but at the same time you’re sitting watching a show, not interacting. I’d almost like to see another social added Monday evening, but I’m sure everyone’s too dead by then and has gone home (I know I had).
The programming definitely was lacking. There wasn’t much of it, and it was scheduled so that many like things (ie historical panels, which was my interest) were scheduled against each other. I know they had some major problems with organizing programming, including technical failures and problems working around people’s schedules (for example, I’d organized an 18th century panel with Loren and Katherine/Koshka, which they didn’t use because of scheduling problems). However, I’d suggest going ahead and scheduling programming for Friday morning (during the ICG meetings) and Sunday during the fashion show (not everyone wants to go – I know I didn’t!). Con moves around geographically and is organized by different people, so this doesn’t apply to future groups, but I wish that CC26 had taken better advantage of local costuming people and organizations to help with programming (GBACG, for one, who volunteered to help many times but was told it wasn’t needed).
However, I did have a great time with the socializing that I did accomplish, and I got to meet and hang out with many new people and old friends. There were some amazing costumes being worn – Loren’s 18th century wardrobe (especially the pink pirate!), Lindsey’s 16th century doublet, Trystan’s 18th c. music gown, Sarah’s red Elizabethan, Jennifer in some gorgeous goth/corset ensembles, Lisa in some beautiful medieval gowns, Katherine W.’s gorgeous Tudor, Jen L.’s beautiful blue 1860s balldress… and many people whose names I don’t know and specifics I can’t remember.
Sadly, I did NOT have the photo gene at ALL for this event – I did take some on Friday but starting Saturday totally slacked. Luckily, there are a ton of photos on Flickr if you search for “Costume Con” or “cc26″ — and soon enough the official galleries will be up, which I’ll post the link to. (I’ll put my few photos up on Flickr, too, just to be thorough!)
Now, it’s time to recover and go back to having a real life!
If you’re in the SF Bay Area, and are interested in such shenanigans, I’ll be teaching a Bodice Draping Workshop (for the Victorian era) for GBACG on Feb. 11th (advance signups required). I’ll demo how to drape a basic dart-fitted bodice, then students will pair up and drape each other. You’ll learn how to drape, plus we’ll go through all the mockup stages so that you leave with a perfectly fitted pattern that you can adapt to most eras of the 19th century. Should be fun!
I’m starting to think about what I’ll teach at Costume College next year, as they are putting together a preliminar list of classes. Right now it’s looking like I’ll be repeating my 18th Century Overview, plus doing a lecture/demo on 18th Century Hair & Makeup (models needed!! Ideally I’d like to have three different models who come to class with their hair set in rollers, so I can style one of each into a 1760s, 1770s, and 1780s look, plus do makeup on one). Less likely is that I’d do a class on library research for costumers. Next year (2008) I’d like to do a demo on How to Drape a 1760s-70s Robe a la Francaise, but I need to make at least one more so I’m sure I have the technique down (don’t want to go claiming I’m an expert yet). Hmm!
Just got my list of what I’ll be teaching at Costume College. Three overviews of women’s costume: 1830s, late 16th c. venice, and 1750-1780. Yay! Should be fun. The 1830s one I’ve done twice before, so that’s easy. Just did the 18th c. one at Costume Academy; I’ll make some tweaks to that. And the Venice one should be fun as I’ve done way too much research on that, plus it hasn’t been done before at CC to my knowledge.
Now here’s a random question for you Costume College attendees: do you like it better when the instructor wears a costume from the period, so you can see what it looks like on and (hopefully) get inspired? Or would you prefer to have the costume on a hanger/mannequin, so you can look at the construction?
And I guess this helps me determine which costumes I’m hauling to Costume College this year! Although I still need something new and fabulous for the gala… Hmm. I was considering making this 1910 evening dress, but now I have the 18th c. bug! I could wear my caraco and petticoat but I don’t think that will be very showy, or my 1875 evening gown which is very showy, but I wore the day version last year (so maybe it won’t seem very exciting to sort-of wear again. Although it is really cute, imho). Hmm! What do you think?
Last weekend I went to the Oakland Museum’s White Elephant sale where I only bought a pearl necklace and a 40’s style olive green suit ($10)… only to get home and on a hunch, start poking around and realize that my 40’s style suit is actually a vintage Women’s Army Corps uniform (minus all its buttons). Yay! So now I’m wandering around ebay trying to find buttons and all the other insignia that it’s missing.
And I’m teaching two classes this weekend at GBACCG’s Costume Academy — one is an overview of 18th century costume, the other is on draping the 18th c. bodice. In doing so, I came across the sketch Nancy Bradfield includes in Costume in Detail of 1780s bum rolls/pads. That’s the only evidence I’ve seen for these, and since I love the 1780s, I thought I’d just go see if I could find the original she redrew that from… behold! I’ve ordered the catalog on ILL so I can see a better version. Anyone know of any other documentation for bum rolls in the late 1780s?
So the (first) deadline for class ideas for Costume College is coming up in a few weeks, and I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to teach. I have a couple of ideas: overview of women’s fashions in Renaissance Venice, or of the 1780-90s, or of the 1910s. Also, I’m thinking of either reoffering my Victorian bodice draping workshop, or instead doing one for cone-shaped bodices (workable for either Elizabethan or 1770s-80s anglaise/polonaise styles).
But it’s always so hard to figure out what I know that others might not know! Does anyone have any suggestions beyond what I’ve come up with?