Casta_painting_all
18th century, interesting reading, research

18th Century Mexican Dress in Casta Paintings

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).

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16th century, 17th century, 18th century, 18th century court dress, 18th century wigs, 19th century

Speaking of Auctions – Some Nice Portraits

Speaking of auctions, as I did in my last post, reminded me that I occasionally like to troll through auction sites for images. It’s a great way to find new-to-you portraits and sculpture, and sometimes even extant clothing.

Here’s a few things that I’ve found lately that I liked — almost all 18th century, of course! Because that’s how I roll.

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A MATCHING stomacher under a Venetian ladder-laced gown! Attributed to Domenico Robusti, called Domenico Tintoretto | PORTRAIT OF A LADY, THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH SEATED, HOLDING A LUTE | Sotheby’s

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18th century, 20th century, interesting reading

18th Century Costume at Auction

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:

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exhibitions, travel

Death Becomes Her: Mourning Costume Exhibit at the Met

Last fall I took a trip to New York, where I was lucky to see the just-closed Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, called “Death Becomes Her.”

The exhibit was relatively small, but not TOO small, and it was full of a lot of stunning items. Here’s a few thoughts!

There were tons of stunning details, which is even MORE intriguing to me when it’s in all black, because they’re so subtle. Check out these spangled rosettes on a hem!

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18th century coat and waistcoat from Hampton Court Palace.
18th century, 18th century court dress, court dress, projects

18th Century Ribbon Embroidery

So! While I haven’t actually DONE anything about my 18th century court dress (see: wig book, busy fall semester, Dickens Fair), I have done a little bit of thinking about it.

Specifically, when I was thinking last summer of trying to “bang out” this sucker (which obviously wasn’t going to happen, but one can dream), I was trying to think of ways to save time on the embroidery:

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planning, projects, site news

Well Hello There, Long-Neglected Blog!

I’ve been blogging about historical costume since 2002. Thirteen years later, and I think I’ve gotten burned out! Obviously. I’m still dressing up and performing, and still sewing, although at a slower pace than previously. I think I’ve just been at this so long, plus now there are so many blogs and other ways to interact with other costumers, plus maybe I’m old and tired? I also performed at Dickens Fair this year, which sucked up November & December. Plus, I’m also still recovering from the wig book!

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