Costume College, events, teaching

Costume College Teaching Thoughts

I’m trying to decide what to offer to teach at Costume College this year.  Here’s a bunch of ideas — I’d love to hear feedback on what sounds interesting!  Some ideas are fleshed out, some are still rudimentary…

Social History of Hair in England, 1770s-1820s

The changes in English hairstyles from the Georgian to the Regency will be traced, focusing on their social, cultural, and political context. From women’s gigantic “poufs” and men’s wigs of the late 18th century, through the “natural” and classical styles of the Regency, hairstyles underwent significant stylistic changes. These represented shifts in politics and society and served as a locus for debate around issues of gender, class, and politics.

18th Century Court Dress

The origins and developments of women’s formal court dress in France and England from the late 17th century through the early 19th century.

18th Century Dress Variations

What’s the differences (and similarities!) between a mantua, robe a la francaise, and a robe a l’anglaise?  How did those three main 18th century dress styles change over time?  For that matter, what’s a Brunswick, polonaise, sultane, or levite? Come geek out over 18th century dress! We’ll look at their origins in the late 17th century, trace the major styles throughout the century, and discuss as many of the weird variations that we can fit in!  This class will make far more sense to you if you have a basic idea of 18th century women’s costume, as we’ll be tracing individual styles over time, rather than going through a chronological rundown.

Hand Sewing Some Basic Garment

I keep thinking of doing some half/all day workshop where we hand sew some small basic garment (a partlet would work really well) and in the process learn the basic handsewing stitches and treatments… but I don’t know if this is too basic!

18th Century Patches (or Cosmetics?)

I want to do more research into 18th c. beauty patches, but I don’t know if there’s enough to make a full class, so maybe as part of a discussion of cosmetics?

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  • Reply Denise January 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I’d love to see any of those! Last year was the first year I went, but I especially loved the classes that had to do with historic accuracy and topics that you don’t often hear much about (maternity, children’s wear). The hair and cosmetics sound really interesting.

  • Reply Aubry January 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I think both 18th Century Dress Variations and Social History of Hair in England, 1770s-1820s would be fascinating!

  • Reply Trystan January 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Social history of hair! Dress variations! And especially patches (so much to go into here, the history starting in the 17th-c., how they were made, who made them, who wore them, meanings/symbolism, patch boxes, funny anecdotes, very brief overview of reproducing them, etc., etc.)!!!

  • Reply Jenny January 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Dress variations please! Then hair history, then patches and pretties!

  • Reply Lauren January 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I know I’m no help, but they all sound great to me! Your classes are always fantastic!

  • Reply Liz January 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I echo the social history of hair and dress variations. But anything you decide to teach will be great!

  • Reply jen thompson January 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    *wimper* They all sound awesome! I’m so sad to miss out! :(

  • Reply Isis January 19, 2012 at 2:52 am

    The first two and the last one! Hair and cosmetcis are always intersting and I have always had a soft spot for court gowns. Not that I will be able to attend. :/

  • Reply Lylassandra January 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Last year was my first year at CoCo, and I have to say: your classes made it for me. I actually mentioned that in my feedback. They were the perfect blend of research and actual costuming advice, especially the rump discussion. I will take virtually anything you teach.

    Fangirling aside, the hair and cosmetics classes look the most interesting to me. Everyone likes to post the original, outrageous recipes, but it’s hard to figure out what you should actually be going for.

    I stayed away from the longer classes last time because I wanted to try everything, but this year I’m considering an all-day class or two, and the handsewing one sounds good. I don’t have much experience with it, and I have plenty of basic questions like “how do you hold all this fabric to get to this seam?”, etc.

    Wow, that was long. Sorry!

  • Reply Sabine January 20, 2012 at 5:16 am

    It’s a PITY (!) that we don’t have a proper equivalent to CoCo over here in Europe…but pretending we would have, I’d love to attend a class about Social History of Hair in England, 1770s-1820s!!!

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