All posts filed under: Events

“A perfect day for a garden party” The Katherine Mansfield Garden Party at Hamilton Gardens

Last weekend I flew up to Hamilton to give a talk on Katherine Mansfield and Garden Party fashions at the Glory Days Salon at the Katherine Mansfield Garden Party at Hamilton Gardens. Hamilton doesn’t have a reputation for being the most interesting city in New Zealand, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’m happy to say that I had an absolutely marvellous time, and that everyone I met and interacted with was absolutely delightful. The point of the garden party is to raise money for a new Katherine Mansfield garden at Hamilton Gardens, which will recreate the garden described in Mansfield’s The Garden Party (that’s a link to the story, and if you haven’t read it, do.  It’s delicious.  The more I read Mansfield the more I love her, and the more I understand why Virginia Woolf said that Mansfield was the only person who ever produced writing that she envied). The Hamilton Gardens are just spectacular.  I wish I’d had a week to explore them!  And the Garden Party was fabulous.  Hamilton Garden’s sets …

Come join me for a Garden Party Salon

It’s mid-January, and once again I am madly sewing 1920s fashions…but not for Art Deco Weekend.  This time I have something even more novel and exciting – I’m a featured speaker at the Glory Days Salon at the Hamilton Gardens’ Mansfield Garden Party. The Mansfield Garden Party (Sunday 7 Feb, 10-5) celebrates New Zealand’s most famous author (and one of my personal favourites) and one of her most famous works: The Garden Party (if you haven’t read it, do, it’s wonderful). If you are in Hamilton or driving distance (come down from Auckland for the day!) do come along to the Salon (book tickets through the Glory Day’s link above). I’ll be talking about garden party fashions in the first two decades of the 20th century, from the dresses Mansfield wore to garden parties in Wellington in 1907, like the one she wrote about in her story, and garden party styles in the early ’20s, when she wrote her story.  And, of course, there will be models! Come and learn, admire, and be admired!  And …

A Historical Dinner Party

The Comtesse recently finished her PhD  (woohoo!  Dr Comtesse!), and as her PhD celebration party, she threw a historical dinner. Her PhD was in a STEM field, not history, but, as her advisor joked, in researching and planning the dinner she found “an extremely unique way to procrastinate.”  I got to know the Comtesse through her love of costuming, and one of the things I really think is fantastic about the historical costuming community is that we do come from all sorts of backgrounds and fields. For the dinner she requested that everyone wear historical dress from a period before WWI.  I think we did rather well: The Sewphist borrowed my 1813 Kashmiri gown, and Madame Ornata sewed right up until the last moment on a mid-19th century plaid dress with a little draping and construction advice from me.  She still needs to figure out a bertha, but so far it is looking amazing, and definitely got the most attention on the night! (I just love that photo – it looks like a movie poster.  Probably for …