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?