All posts filed under: Admire

Costume Showcase at Toi Whakaari

Watch Toi Whakaari’s Costume Showcase live tonight!

I teach Costume Construction at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. In their first year of study students in the department learn, among other things: core sewing techniques; workshop practice; patternmaking; hatmaking; dyeing, printing and finishing techniques; costume history, and the costume design process. By the end of Term 3 (out of 4) they will have made: a boned historical undergarment; a multi-part historical dress using theatrical techniques; a wired buckram hat; various accessories that utilise dyeing and printing techniques; and a pattern and completed garment which they have developed from a sloper. In their second year of study students build on these skills, learning: advanced millinery; advanced corsetry; tailoring; costume for dance (often making costumes for the Royal NZ Ballet); and EVA & Worbla skills. In addition they do industry secondments and learn how to manage wardrobes for stage and screen productions. At the same time these graduating students are asked to choose a costume design (it can be an actual costume design, a painting, concept art, etc.) to bring to life as faithfully …

Midwinter Medieval Feast

A Midwinter Medieval Dinner

We’re incredibly privileged to have had no community transmission of Covid19 here in New Zealand, so we can safely hold social events.   While we were in lockdown my friend Priscilla asked if we could have a dinner party at her house to celebrate once it was safe to get together again. We all have, or have been working on, 14th century dresses, so we chose a midwinter Medieval feast.   Nina applied her amazing food skills to developing a menu. We all cooked, decorated, and lent a hand. Thanks to everyone’s work and collaboration, we had the most fabulous evening: complete with an entire haunch of wild venison, a gingerbread castle, sugared apples, and Medieval disco dancing. Sending out lots of love to the rest of the world, and hopes for a time when we can all gather in safety and joy ❤️   Hmmm…what’s under her dress? Jenni had the privilege/misfortune of sitting across from me, and having great lighting: The Menu Pear & Parsnip Soup in Bread Trenchers I made the bread …

Spring Styles for 1915,

Spring Styles for 1915 from the Standard Mail Order Co.

I’m out of posting inspiration for the time (or, more accurately, I’ve got lots of inspiration, but I’m out of the mindset that allows me to sit down and pursue an involved research idea), so I’m turning to the catalogue stash for blogging material again. Up today: two pages from the Standard Mail Order Co ‘Spring Styles for 1915’ catalogue. The Standard Mail Order Co was an American mail order company that operated in the 1900s-1910s. They sold men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, hats and shoes, as well as a range of toiletries, trimmings for hats and clothes, and a few other small personal items. As far as I can tell, it had no relationship the Standard Pattern Company, which put out the Designer Magazine at the same time. Based on other mail order catalogues in my collection, Standard was low-midrange. Their pricing is slightly higher than Sears (the ultimate budget mail order catalogue), but significantly lower than Bella Hesse & Co, the creme de la creme of mail order fashion magazines. The priciest frock …