I got into historical costume by admiring movie costumes. I was delighted to find, a little later, that there were people who'd written books on how to make those costumes, how to recreate them accurately, and I was most impressed of all when I realised that the clothes and the patterns have been, in some cases, preserved for us to enjoy centuries later.
A little later still, when I first got on the Internet in 1996, I spent some very late nights in my University's computer labs salivating over the websites of antique clothing dealers like Karen Augusta...
Katherine Caron-Greig is the epitome of the obsessed amateur costumer. A teacher by trade, she spends an inordinate amount of her free time collecting and recreating historical costumes for her own amusement.
Despite her taxing profession, she seems to retain boundless energy for her sewing and now boasts a historic wardrobe of dizzying proportions, most of which you can see for yourself at her website, www.koshka-the-cat.com.
With experience of almost every historical period of clothing from the 1550s to the 1950s, Katherine has a special understanding of the pitfalls and opportunities that await the passionate hobbyist.
In January, Your Wardrobe Unlock'dTM featured an article about personal "Holy Grails", meaning costumes that you desperately want but are impossibly out-of-reach due to time, money, experience, extravagance, whatever. So I find myself wondering, what are my Holy Grails?
I’m Sunny Buchler – I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a bit of a mecca for historical costuming, and moved to Cleveland, Ohio a couple years ago.
You may remember reading in January's blog that Katherine Caron-Greig was in Paris for the New Year, happily photographing some of the best paintings in the Louvre. Such was our jealousy that it seems only right to feature the Louvre as our Website of the Month for February!
I was once told how a woman vowed to visit every single work of art in the famous Paris museum; it took her five full days to see it all. The Musée du Louvre houses 35,000 works of art drawn from eight departments, displayed in over 60,000 square meters of exhibition space dedicated to the permanent collections. The website encourages the visitor to "explore the works on display, taking a thematic or cross-departmental approach," but on such a vast site, this can be daunting! To get you started, we've picked out a few highlights for you...
Danish embroiderer and costume maker Bjarne Drews has a magnificent obsession with the costume and embellishment of the eighteenth century European royal courts. Your Wardrobe Unlock'd caught up with him in Copenhagen to talk about what it is that fascinates him, how he got started and how you can get started too in the intricate art of hand embroidery.