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Elevating Fashion, 1901, Henri Gerbault

This month we have one question about a YWU sister site and two questions about corsetry - one concerning types of boning and when to use them (with an interesting variety of opinions from four of our experts amongst the answers), and the other on building a corset/chest binder for a female-to-male transsexual.

Submit your questions now on the "Ask a question" page for next month's column!

Marion McNealyThis month marks the first anniversary of Marion McNealy's association with Your Wardrobe Unlock'dTM, firstly as Sub-Editor and now as our Editor. It's a role that keeps her busy helping Publisher Catherine Hay to create content and manage the technical side of keeping the site running.

Marion has a rich background in historic costuming through her research into the lives of common German women in the Renaissance era. She joins us to discuss her research as well as to give us a glimpse of how she became involved with online publishing.


Tags: Interviews

Ostrich PlumesMy passion for Ostrich plumes started when I saw the opening credits of the 1997 movie Wings of the Dove.

Where do such plumes come from?

How do milliners fabricate them and can I create such confections?

These are all questions I asked myself then, and they led me on a course of study and experimentation. In this article I will share some of what I have learned along the way.


Detail of the Brown Bustle SkirtI've often been frustrated that there are wonderful Victorian patterns available, but there is very little information on how to put the pieces together or the other finishing details that go into making a dress.

My goal with this article is to address this gap by doing a photographic analysis of the construction techniques used in three Victorian skirts in my personal collection. Due to the Single Pattern Project, I'm most interested in elliptical skirts, but I only have one in my collection. Therefore, I've chosen a skirt from the preceding Hoop era, and one from the following Early Bustle era to compare to the elliptical skirt.

Color in HarmonyYou've been asking us for more information about using color and line in clothing, so we have hit the library and found the most relevant (and entertaining!) information from history.

Bows and loopsor My hat looks like it has a dead fish on top because the bow just lies there! How can I fix that?

One of the most often used decorative elements on late Victorian and Edwardian hats were bows and ribbon loops.

To a non-milliner, trying to recreate some of these fantastic hats may seem a daunting task. Here are some tricks that simplify things.


Catalina Micaela of Austria, Duchess of Savoy, 1585, Alonso Sánchez CoelloThis month there is the wide variety of questions that Ask the Experts is known for!

Questions this month range through how to find tutorials on styling Georgian wigs, good sources for aiglettes, pattern drafting instructions for a late 1920's day dress, how to make a frou-frou petticoat and a wire mesh crinoline and sewing corsets without wrinkles.

Submit your questions now on the "Ask a question" page for next month's column!

We welcome questions about any sewing or costume related subject, and your questions will be passed on to the group of experts to answer. You're welcome either to specify whom you're asking, or not to, whatever is your preference. Anonymous questions are also welcome!

Vivien HoffpauirVivien Hoffpauir is an artist and designer of boundless energy who has found business success bringing her enthusiasm for "Lolita" style to American women.

This month, she talked to us about her creative influences, her unique and very original twist on traditional 18th century European clothing - and what led her to start up not one, but two commercial fashion labels, including one of the first lines of Lolita clothing sold outside Japan.




Tags: Interviews

Bloomer Club Cigars, 1890Most in the reenacting and historical costuming communities spend countless hours and large amounts of money researching and executing the perfectly period-appropriate hourglass corset or bustle. We feel elegant and oh-so-Victorian with our suddenly-tiny waists and perfect posture.

It may be hard,then, for we, as modern women who don a corset for a few events a year, to understand the many difficulties presented by wearing these garments every day, and why there was a movement right at the start of the Victorian era to do away with them altogether.

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