Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Costume Accessories: Head to Toe" Colonial Williamsburg/CSA Symposium

Day One

Rebecca pondering the symposium schedule.

This evening saw the opening of "Costume Accessories: Head to Toe," a two-and-a-half day symposium co-sponsored by Colonial Williamsburg and the Costume Society of America. We arrived in Williamsburg last night and spent today walking the historic area, enjoying the sunshine and the warm weather. After checking-in for the symposium and doing a bit (alright, more than a bit...) of shopping, we dropped in to the milliner's shop to catch a glimpse of the last-minute symposium preparations. We found Mr. Hutter, the tailor, diligently polishing silver buttons and finishing up a stunning 1770s riding habit with green silk facings. Despite his pressing timeline, he generously took the time to chat for a few minutes about the project, and I'm eagerly anticipating a glimpse of the finished habit on Tuesday!

A gorgeous red silk taffeta gown on display in the
Margaret Hunter milliner's shop.

This evening, I attended the opening keynote lecture for the symposium. Susan North, curator of fashion at the V&A and best known (and vastly appreciated) for her Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail, gave a spectacular context-setting introduction to a revisionary methodology for studying and re-presenting accessories and articles of clothing. She called for a re-integration of costume pieces with the bodies they were meant to adorn, stressing the importance of that relationship and of an understanding of the contexts in which such objects were manufactured, used, and exchanged. Over the next two days as we delve into "fashion in detail," her words will continue to echo their relevance. I can't wait to begin the lectures in earnest tomorrow!

Ashley frolicking in a new gown at CW.

1 comment:

lahbluebonnet said...

I wish I could have seen the button polishing, especially since "Lafayette" told us to ask the tailor about it! The costumes look great. You all take great photos! Far more imaginative than anything I can ever think of!