Your Wardrobe Unlock'd™ is all about encouraging you to make better historical clothing. Part of the way we do this is through our Costume Competitions, which challenge and inspire you to show off what you've learnt!
You don't have to be a world class costumer to take part! The point of the Competition is to get you trying things you wouldn't normally try, and to stretch you a little way outside your comfort zone, no matter what level of skill or experience you have, in a safe environment where we're all supporting each other. Some of you will be able to share your experience and ideas; others will show us your journey along a huge learning curve. Don't ever underestimate yourself and overestimate everyone else! Have a go!
There is a lot more to it than the competitive element. All entries are uploaded to the website and displayed publicly during our week of voting, to be celebrated, admired and supported by everyone. The comments give you a great boost of encouragement from like-minded enthusiasts, you give others the opportunity to admire and learn from your experience, and those of you with more confidence will get the publicity you might be looking for.
"I took this contest to try out new techniques and it really helped me progress!" - Emilie Derville, France
"I loved having a set theme and deadline which made me actually start (and more importantly finish) working on something." - Anonymous survey response
"It is challenging, very inspiring, great source of eye-candy and fun above all."- Anonymous survey response
Please note some minor changes to the rules for 2017, given below in red.
What's happened to everyday fashion? The utter boredom felt by most people about current fashion is no secret. It's the reason why many of us started sewing historical clothes in the first place. We want a piece of glamour, a small snippet of another time that will make our hearts sing with joy.
That's all good in theory, but after a few years costuming, many of us have to admit a hard truth:
Little of what we work so hard to create makes it into our everyday wardrobe. We have all slaved away for months to finish dresses for special events, but they are worn once, maybe twice, and then put into the closet.
So join us this year in bringing some of those gorgeous historical and vintage styles out of the special events closet and into your daily wardrobe. Our theme this year to integrate historical styles into modern wardrobes, whether it’s Regency styles, Dior's New Look, or 1920’s styles à la Miss Fisher, or crossing Edwardian with post-WWII fashions as the Teddy Girls and Boys did. Whatever era you choose, the goal is to make something that you will actually wear and enjoy, and not just for a historical event or ball!
Theme 2: Stepped out of a Portrait or Photograph
Pick a period dress or outfit from a museum or a personal collection, either an actual garment or a painting or photo of a garment. Recreate it exactly, or interpret it to suit your figure/coloring/aesthetic, keeping in mind period fashion sense. You should look like you stepped out of a painting or a photo from the time.
When you send in your entry, please include a link or a photo of the original portrait or artwork that you are working from so we can fully admire your awesome creation!
But remember: your entry will look all the more awesome if we can publish the image of the original next to your creation, so do pick something that is in an image we can use - either your own image or a public domain image! Easy rule of thumb: if it appears on Wikimedia Commons, we can use it!)
We've already published some articles to help you with planning your entry:
Project Planning for Success
Tackling Ambitious Projects
Photographing Garments in the Studio
The Commons on Flickr - A great resource for photos (remember, all photos must be either public domain or your own, unless permission is obtained).
Entries will be judged in three separate skill level categories:
Winners in each category will receive:
Runners-up in each category will each receive:
You will not need to send the garments themselves to us - our members are located all over the world and we'd be as heartbroken as you would be if your clothes got lost or damaged in the mail. In any case, we're not going to judge them: YOU are!
Photograph the clothes you make; we'll use these photos and your description as your entry. Your permission to use those things on our websites is granted by entering them, but the copyright on the photos and text remains your own.
You can enter a maximum of five photos, which will need to be attached to your entry email. One of these photos can be replaced with a video. Composite images count as the number of images that have been combined (in other words, you can't circumvent the image limit by using photo manipulation software to combine multiple images).
Keep a 'dress diary' on your blog if you have one; we'd love to link to it. This is optional, but the great advantage is that you can include as many pictures as you like on your blog, over and above the five picture limit for your main entry, and we'll link to it. Remember to use a tag so that voters can access your complete dress diary at once without needing to sift through other journal entries!
If you're not familiar with the term, a 'dress diary' is simply a blog that you keep during the making of an outfit. It documents how you made the garment(s), what problems you came across and how you solved them, including any making-of pictures, and all your triumphs and tribulations during the project. They're great to look back on and they help us all to learn from each other's experiences.
The email will need to contain:
Your entry will be uploaded to the website, giving our members and the public the opportunity to see your work. The winners will then be decided by a vote among all the members and FR team.