All posts tagged: Katherine Mansfield

Mansfield & the Modern Woman

Mansfield & the Modern Woman

My talk on Katherine Mansfield, the New Zealand Suffrage movement, and the changing roles of women in the late 19th and early 20th century was last weekend at the NZ Portrait Gallery. It went off beautifully, thanks to assistance from students from Toi Whakaari The New Zealand Drama School, who modelled and assisted as dressers. The talk coincided with the exhibition: Katherine Mansfield: A Portrait, which includes depictions of Mansfield by various artists, from the famous Anne Estelle Rice portrait, to more modern interpretations of Mansfield. They art provided an interesting counterpoint to the models in their outfit.  The costumes illustrate the development of more modern ideals and roles for women in fashion, and the different facets of the ‘modern woman’ that emerged in Mansfield’s lifetime.  The artworks show the different ways in which people view and interpret Mansfield: the facets of her personality. After the talk the models enjoyed the other, equally appropriate exhibition, Worn Identities: And the bookstore: And then we moved out to the waterfront for photos: (it is a truth universally …

Ruffled unders at Ruffles & Rebellion

Mansfield & the Modern Woman: a fashion history talk

Need some fashion history in your weekend? Come hear me talk about Katherine Mansfield, the New Zealand suffrage movement, and ideals and archetypes of femininity in late 19th & early 20th c New Zealand – all illustrated with models in gorgeous costumes. Mansfield & the Modern Woman New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Shed 11   Sunday, 7th October, 1pm Free This talk is part of Mansfield 130 and Suffrage 125 There will be models in gorgeous dresses, fabulous artwork, and interesting history.  What’s not to love? If you aren’t able to come in person, enjoy some of the media coverage of me in preparation for the event: I talk about sewing, books, films, and more on Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan on RadioNZ The Fortnight in 1916 and some corset mythbusting in the Herald.  

A photoshoot at the Katherine Mansfield Museum

A tea gown at the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Museum

One of my favourite things about the photoshoot at the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Museum was the opportunity to showcase my tea gown: it’s hardly been worn since I made it. The tea gown was perfect for representing Mansfield’s mother.  Annie Beauchamp was an ambitious Wellington society hostess, and what could better represent the social aspirations and impractical elegance of the late Victorian society woman than a tea gown? I absolutely love the photographs of Liz in the tea gown.  I feel they perfectly capture the slightly repressed, claustrophobic energy that I always imagine Annie having when I read Mansfield’s semi-autobiographical stories.  Well before I knew anything of Mansfield’s life I pictured  Annie as a woman who, had she lived today, would have had a quite interesting career.  Living in the 19th century she took the only acceptable path of marriage and motherhood, and then focused her energy on social climbing and on frenetically trying to create a ‘perfect life’ to try to hold back the constant suspicion that she was actually quite unhappy.  In the …