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DFWCG

Summer/Fall 2016

Magazine DFWCG.ORG

#6


A Note from the Editor I am so excited about this issue of the magazine. Since your illustrious editor was overseas during the summer, we didn’t have a summer issue of the magazine this year. This means that for the fall, you’re getting a special double issue! This volume of the magazine will cover everything from our April events up until now. I’m also excited because August marked Guild’s official 10th Birthday. We have a special look back at the Guild through the years, which was a fun way to see how the Guild has changed and grown since its beginnings. This coming winter season is already looking to be packed full of events. There are several Renaissance Festivals in November and December, our annual favorite, the Georgian Picnic, and December is totally crazy, with every weekend offering a ton of different festivals and events that we can costume for! I can’t wait for the air to turn cooler to give us a chance to break out our fall and winter ensembles. Remember that if you have an event that you’ve been to that you’d like to tell our members about, even if it wasn’t an official DFWCG outing, we would love to hear from you so that we can share it in the magazine! Anything costume related is welcome, so please let us know what you’ve been up to!


Fall 2016

Photo by: Unknown; Fort Worth Japanese Gardens Currently Seeking: Tutorials – Pattern Reviews – Event Reports – Costume Articles Visit us at: DFWCG.ORG


13 How to Dress in Junihitoe Medieval Japanese court garb was an elaborate affair consisting of several layers of robes. Read all about how to dress in this complex garb.

05 Bullets and Bustles This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Lonesome Dove TV series. The Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth hosted an exhibition of the show’s costumes and props, which our members visited at the beginning of April.

09 The Georgian Dinner Party Inspired by the famous Francaise Dinner in Georgetown, the DFWCG hosted its own evening of Georgian glamour!

25 10 Years of the DFW Costumers Guild August was our official birthday, and our organization celebrated its first decade! Enjoy this look back at the Guild’s events through the years!

29 Costumer Spotlight Get to know DFWCG member Coleen Swafford!

21 Costume Showcase Beth Klimek tells us all about her pink Edwardian ensemble!


57 Vintage Train

35 Frontier Fort Days Some of our members attended the annual Frontier Fort Days festival 49 The Pretty in Pink Tea in the Fort Worth Stockyards. Read all about What began as a sewing challenge – everyone this year’s festival! take a length of pink moiré and make something fabulous, culminated in a grand tea party to celebrate our 37 Nothing Succeeds creations! Read all about Like Excess the challenge, the tea, The 1938 production of Marie Antoinette is one of and the beautiful historic those legendary costume venue! films from Hollywood’s Golden Age. We’ll take a look at the film, the stunning costume designs by Adrian, and see some rare color images of the film’s costumes.

Excursion The Guild made a trip to Rusk to ride on a vintage steam train! Check out our photo essay highlighting some of the best moments of the trip.

61 Calendar of Events See what costume events we have planned in our Calendar of Events

55 Spring Business Meeting Minutes Miss the spring business meeting? Read about the events we planned and the business we discussed.


BUSTLES & BULLETS A TRIP TO THE FORT WORTH COWGIRL MUSEUM BY JEN THOMPSON


As a historical costumer, I've always loved Victorian and Edwardian fashions and tales about the Wild West, but it's easy to focus more on the bustles and frills found in fashion plates vs. the clothing worn by hardworking cattlewomen, rodeo performers, and the amazing sharpshooters whose lives are celebrated in the Ft. Worth Cowgirl Museum. The DFWCG's trip to the Cowgirl Museum in early April was originally inspired by the museum's exhibit of costume

costume pieces from the TV series, Lonesome Dove, but the permanent collection ended up being the true highlight of the day. I was especially captivated by the permanent collection of show costumes worn by early 20th century women cowgirl performers, which featured embroidered and fringed split skirts, vests, and intricate bandanas. A large part of the room was dedicated to Anne Oakley, and there was a wide variety of memorabilia including photos, weapons, clothing, and ephemera from her days as an exhibition shooter. 6


Upstairs, there was a small collection of costumes and props from Lonesome Dove, plus a wide variety of fascinating historical items such as sidesaddles, hats, boots, and spurs. A few of the exhibits were more hands-on and aimed toward children, which of course we took full advantage of too! Several of our adventurous ladies took a ride on the museum's mechanical horse, while others struck a dainty pose on a saddle while watching clips from Lonesome Dove. Upstairs, there was a small collection of costumes and props from Lonesome 7

Dove, plus a wide variety of fascinating historical items such as sidesaddles, hats, boots, and spurs. A few of the exhibits were more hands-on and aimed toward children, which of course we took full advantage of too! Several of our adventurous ladies took a ride on the museum's mechanical horse, while others struck a dainty pose on a saddle while watching clips from Lonesome Dove. Our DFWCG guests fell into 3 categories for this event. Several of our ladies chose to wear bustle-era fashions, and they looked gorgeous in their Victorian


finery. We also had several people wear costumes inspired by cowgirl fashions, and these outfits were pulled together from a variety of historical pieces that were combined with Western-style accessories, such as spurs, holsters, and cowboy hats. We also had a few guests join us in modern clothing, including a lovely couple who decided to meet up with our group for the first time to see what our guild is all about. After exploring the Cowgirl Museum, our group of ladies continued the outing by having lunch at Hauffbrau Steaks,

which seemed like an fitting way to wrap up our cowgirl adventure. As usual, we were greeted with lots of compliments and curious questions from the other guests at the restaurant, and it was fun to spend more time relaxing and socializing over a delicious steak. I learned so much from our trip to the Cowgirl Museum and came away from this experience with tons of new inspiration for future costumes and events. It's a fascinating part of women's history and our Texas culture, and I'm so happy that the guild was able to organize this delightful Old West outing. 8


THE GEORGIAN DINNER THE SAGA OF A SHAPESHIFTING EVENT


This is the epic saga of an event that shapeshifted over the course of a year. Originally, inspired by the fabulous Francaise Dinner in Virginia, the plan was to have a ticketed event with a multiple-course, set-menu dinner, and various Georgian-style entertainments such as a minuet demonstration and period music. The hunt began for a venue – a French restaurant was the ideal. But finding a French restaurant in DFW, especially one with an affordable menu and a private dining room, was proving nearly impossible. The plan shifted. Now we just wanted a restaurant with a private dining

room. Many restaurants were called, emails were sent, Yelp was consulted. Then, the sticker shock. Most restaurants with private dining rooms want a guaranteed minimum – usually over $1,500! Counting on our usual turnout, that would have meant each person would have been spending at least $100 on dinner alone! Rooms without spending minimums had a minimum headcount, something that would have been impossible for us to guarantee. So, the event morphed again. 10


We began searching for a restaurant with an Old World feel to it, some place that would accommodate us without gouging us. We had to forego the private dining room, but we finally settled on a restaurant – Sweet Basil, an Italian Restaurant in Dallas. The interior was pleasantly decorated with statuary and paintings, terracotta tile floors, and soft butter yellow walls. The main room of the restaurant was being occupied by a wedding party, so we had the smaller first room almost to ourselves, besides a few scattered diners at the other tables. Everyone 11

looked spectacular in their 18th Century evening wear, with lots of beautiful Robes a la Francaise, Chemise Dresses, Robes Anglaise, and even a couple of well-dressed gentlemen with us! The evening was filled with lively conversation and good food. The restaurant had an extensive menu of Italian favorites, each of which was delicious, and generously portioned. We were frequently asked by the other diners why we were dressed up and what we were doing, and many of them asked for photographs with us.


After dinner, we adjourned to the patio area to take some photographs, since many of us had new gowns or wigs that we wanted to document! We spent some time admiring each other’s outfits, before going our separate ways for the evening. Though it didn’t come together as originally planned, the Georgian Dinner ended up being a truly lovely event, with good friends coming together in fabulous clothes to eat tasty food and enjoy each other’s company. There were many memorable moments during

the evening, such as the strange choice of the restaurant to play reggae music all night long, the many requests for photographs by other diners, and lots of good conversation between friends. In all, it was an extremely enjoyable evening, and I’m certainly looking forward to our next evening event!

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HOW TO DRESS IN JUNIHITOE EXAMINING THE LAYERS OF MEDIEVAL JAPANESE COURT GARB


When most people think of traditional Japanese clothing, they usually think of the kimono, a squaresleeved garment of two or so layers with an elaborately tied obi. But there is an older and more elaborate style that was the predecessor of modern kimono styles – the Junihitoe, or “twelve layered robes�. Junihitoe can be traced back to the Heian period, between 794 and 1185AD, which is considered the height of the Imperial Japanese court. This was a golden age of art, literature, and poetry, and some of the most well-known Japanese

literature, such as Tale of Genji and The Pillow Book are from this period. The Heian period was one of relative political stability, which was what allowed the arts to flourish during this time. This also gave rise to the complex garb of the Imperial Court, which included over 200 rules on how to wear it, what season to wear what colors, and who could wear what colors. Before a sumptuary law was passed to limit the number of layers, some court ensembles are said to have reached up to 40 layers! The new law limited the number of layers to five, not including the undergarments and jackets. 14


Like the sumptuary laws of Renaissance Europe, the colors you wore and the way you wore them helped to distinguish your pecking order in the Imperial Court. “Koki Murasaki”, which was a blue-leaning purple, was restricted to the royal family, and could only be worn by a queen or princess. However, other shades of purple were unrestricted. “Kurenai”, which is an orange-scarlet, was also considered a “forbidden color”, though its use was not as restricted as koki murisaki. Most of the royal women (sisters, aunts, cousins, etc) are mentioned wearing kurenai, and permission to wear kurenai could be bestowed upon favoured courtiers. As a result, most of the Queen's household, her attendants, and her friends, could wear kurenai. These robes would, however, be made of a lesser weave of silk. Colors were also arranged into specific patterns, with evocative names like “beneath the snow”, “layered plum”, and “orange blossom”. Great emphasis was placed on aesthetic sensibilities, and wearing the wrong pattern in the wrong season could damage a lady’s reputation. The lady of the household was also in charge of dying all the fabrics to the correct colors. To complicate matters, there were specific patterns for certain festivals, special occasions such as births, and some court functions.


Getting dressed in Heian-era court garb required the help of practiced servants, who could arrange the robes correctly so just the right amount of each sleeve was peeking out at the sleeve hem. Robes were often lined in complementary colors, and the lining was designed to peek out by just about a quarter inch at the hem of the sleeve, so with careful dressing, the illusion of wearing up to 10 layers or more. Besides the multi-layered robes, there were often formal and informal jackets and aprons worn for certain occasions. In the summer, the robes would be unlined and made of finely woven silk, which allowed air to flow through all the layers, but winter robes would be heavy and warm to keep away the chill. Cosmetics were also used extensively. While women were often hiding their faces behind fans or were secluded behind screens, women did keep up a certain appearance. Rouge and powder had been imported from China as early as the 6th century, and later makeups could be either rice or lead based. Higher quality makeups were made from nightingale droppings, and similar makeups are still available in Japan today. Ladies would also pluck their eyebrows completely and replace them with “thumbprint eyebrows�, drawn on in charcoal , and would blacken their teeth, which actually acted as a sealant and helped to protect their teeth from decay. The mixture was made of tea, vinegar, rice wine, and iron fillings.


Kodode & Nagabakama

Hitoe

The first layer was made up of white kosode, which means “small sleeves�, and is actually the forerunning of the modern-day kimono.

Over the kosode and nagabakama was the hitoe, which was an unlined robe. It has the same cutting dimensions as the upper robes, with slightly longer sleeves that would peek out as the bottom layer, underneath all of the upper robes.

The nagabakama were pleated trousers for formal court appearances. The legs of the trousers were long, and would actually be tread on while walking. Nagabakama were very formal. For more informal occasions, ladies would wear regular hakama, which were floor length. They were almost always red, but could occasionally be deep purple. 17

The hitoe was usually red, but could also be white, dark-green, or bluegreen, though these colors were much rarer.


Uchigi/Kinu/Hitoe The uchigi or kinu are where the Heian era's clothing gets its name, juni-hitoe, which means "twelve layered robes." (Hitoe translates directly to "unlined robe", though the uchigi were usually lined robes.) It's a bit of a misnomer, because at the beginning of the period, there was no restriction on the number of robes someone could wear, and there could be as many as 40 layers! However, in 1074 AD, a sumptuary law was passed that limited the number of robes to 5. These robes were lined in complementary colours. The lining would peek out ever so slightly, maybe 1/4", at the neckline and on the sleeves.

Uchiginu The uchiginu was not meant to be seen when worn. It was made of stiffened, beaten silk, usually in scarlet red, and was made to the same dimensions as the uchigi. Careful dressing assured that this layer was not seen. It’s main function was to provide support and stiffening for the next layer, which was the flashiest layer and was meant to be displayed.

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Uwagi

Kouchigi

The uwagi was the top layer of the ensemble, and for informal court appearance, this was the final layer of dressing. Depending on your rank, the uwagi could be patterned, painted, made of brocade, etc. Since it was the top layer, it was usually the flashiest of the layers. The uchigi were usually pretty plain in comparison since they wouldn't be seen, unless you had enough wealth to have them patterned.

For more formal occasions, kouchigi, which means “small cloak� could be worn to dress up an ensemble. This layer was usually shorter than the lower layers, and made of fine brocades or patterned silks. This was the alternative to the more formal karaginu-mo, which was reserved for only the most formal of court occasions.


Karaginu Mo Karaginu Mo are actually two separate garments that were always worn together. The karaginu is a short jacket that is a holdover from when Chinese fashions were popular at court. It is shorter in the back than it is in the front, with a wide collar attached directly to the body of the jacket, and sleeves that were slightly shorter than the lower layers, in order to show off the fabric of the uwagi. The collar in the back appears triangular, and lays flat, instead of being round and curving around the neck the way the collars on other layers do.

The mo was a sort of backwards apron that was worn tied around the waist. It trailed along behind the wearer and usually had streamers at the sides. The mo were usually made of white or light colors, and could be decorated with patterns evocative of nature, which might have been painted on, embroidered, or applied in metal foil. Some were dyed in “nioi” style, which we would call “ombre”, with rich, deep colors at the hem fading to white toward the knee. However, nioi was uncommon, and plain or patterned white silk was most commonly seen. 20


Costume Showcase 1890s Pink Moire Day Dress Costumer: Beth Klimek DFWCG member Beth Klimek recently completed a pink 1890s dress as part of the Pink Moire challenge. We asked her to tell us a bit about creating her ensemble.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE DRESS. This was my first time delving into 1890’s fashion, so I used a combination of Butterick and Truly Victorian patterns to make almost everything: Jacket – Butterick 5232, view C, heavily modified Blouse – Butterick 4418, view B, slightly modified Skirt – Truly Victorian 292, longer train option, no modifications Sash – no pattern

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This outfit was made for a pinkthemed event, and one of our members kindly gifted dress lengths of pink moiré taffeta to anyone who would make an outfit with that fabric and wear it to the event. The fabric has a lot of body, so I immediately pegged it for an 1890’s ensemble. I


WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE DESIGN? Ask, and Pinterest shall provide! I wanted my design to be as true to the 1890’s esthetic as possible, and since I haven’t made much from the era I searched for pics of extant dresses. I found the perfect dress in the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev – 1890’s, made from moiré, with just the right amount of interesting details without getting too complicated, and all the additional materials I needed were already in my stash!

has a lot of body, so I immediately pegged it for an 1890’s ensemble. I added an acetate taffeta lining to the skirt to give it even more body, and then stiffened the hem with horsehair braid for good measure. The jacket is lined with lightweight polyester satin, but that was more to cover the interior seams than for any structural reason. The blouse is made from an embroidered polyester netting and is lined with cotton.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO COMPLETE? I’m terrible at keeping track of the time I put into my projects, but I’d guess it took at least 40 hours. 22


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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE OUTFIT? I really love the jacket. The pleats provide interesting texture and create a standing collar effect, but the whole thing is softened by the cream trim. It’s truly the star of the outfit.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF THE DESIGN? The pleats were definitely the most challenging part for me. I have a homemade pleater board that I made excellent use of, but even so it was time consuming and tedious. Halfway through sewing the pleated trim to the jacket, I realized that half of my pleats really needed to be pleated the other direction, to keep them all pointing upwards along each jacket front. I was too short on time to cut and hem more strips, so I ended up ironing flat and re-pleating the trim I already had. Lesson learned!

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10 years of the DF The First 10 years have been a whirlwind of events and costumes. Let’s take a look back at what the past decade has offered our members.

T

en years ago a group of friends got together and decided to start a club. There were few organizations few in the area offering costumed activities at the time outside of

outside of reenactments or Renaissance festivals – Steampunk hadn’t been invented yet, there were no other costume clubs, and cosplay was still mainly party of the anime and sci-fi convention scene. Costume opportunities were few and far between! Originally part of the International Costumers Guild, the DFWCG split from ICG in 2007 to form an independent club. Some of

our first events were visiting antique shows – the Antique Elegance show used to occur twice a year, and it offered our members the opportunity to dress in a wide range of different time periods – from Civil War era Victorian gowns to WWII era civilians and military. Our Antique Elegance outings remained a club favorite until the show came under new management in the fall of 2014. Another long-standing favorite event has been our Georgian picnic. Since our second year as a club, we have met in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens for an afternoon of 18th century style entertainments. In the past we’ve enjoyed a wide variety of activities, ranging from period dancing, painting and drawing, and period games like Pall Mall.

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WCG

The Georgian picnic has become one of our favorite and most anticipated events of the year. In 2015, we moved the picnic to River Legacy Park in Arlington, which looks like it will be a splendid new location After becoming established and building a membership base, the

for our event. Because so many of us could not make it out to Costume College in California, the Guild began hosting Costumers Lost Weekend, our own costuming and sewing convention. The weekend was filled with classes and workshops, where members and non-members alike could learn new aspects of costuming, fashion history, and crafting. The convention ran successfully for several years at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Addison, before

it was decided to switch the format to costuming retreat in a 2015. The smaller venue and more intimate class structure have given our attendees a more one on one, hands-on experience. Many other events have come and gone during our history as a club. The annual Frontier Fort Days festival and antique train ride was a favorite group event for many years. New favorite events have sprung up, as well, such as the Jazz Age Social Sunday, and our wintertime visit to the Kimbell Art Museum, which traditionally hosts an impressionist exhibit 26


during the Christmas season. We’ve made several trips to Candlelight, the Victorian Christmas festival at Dallas Heritage Village, and have visited Plano Heritage Farmstead for their Halloween and Christmas events. In 2015 we even provided a dressing demonstration for their Lantern Light Christmas festival, where our members showed soldout audiences what it took for a Victorian or Edwardian lady to dress for the day.

Museum exhibitions have offered us many chances to costume – The Titanic Exhibit, Lonesome Dove at the Cowgirl Museum,

Impressionist Exhibits at art museums, and even a Sherlock Holmes exhibit – all have given us wonderful opportunities to costume and enjoy a theme event without the hassle of having to plan an extensive party or theme ourselves. Picnics have also been a favorite budget-friendly type of event. The Georgian Picnic is an annual favorite, but we’ve also enjoyed Regency picnics for Concert

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dance events and information. We’ve also been fortunate that some of our members have been called upon to provide dressing demonstrations, in the Gardens, Picnic with the Pixies, costumed safaris, and the annual Jazz Age Sunday Social, which is a grand picnic event in the spirit of Great Gatsby and other large 1920s-style picnics across the country. We’ve also enjoyed a great relationship with other arts, history, and literature organizations in the DFW area. We’ve been lucky to have an

active chapter of the Jane Austen Society right here in North Texas, and their lectures, teas, and their fabulous Netherfield Ball have all been wonderful opportunities to enjoy a costumed event while interacting with other members of the arts community. We also have the wonderful North Texas Traditional Dance Society, which has provided a great resource for historical

independent costume classes and lectures, and costume advice for individuals and organizations in our area. We’re looking forward to another successful decade ahead of us. Our membership only keeps growing, and our members continue to learn and share their knowledge of historical costume, cosplay, Steampunk, and other costume forms. We’ve been so lucky to have such a great group of people to work with, enjoy time with, and become friends with, and we’re sure that the future only holds more wonderful things in store for our club. 28


Costumer Spotlight Coleen Swafford


How did you first get into costuming? My mother taught me how to quilt and embroider but I never made clothing (other than a once a year dress for my daughter) until about 2002. We were living in Tucson and my husband took us to a Western Film Festival in Tombstone. There were so many people in costume that we felt out of place until we purchased our first costumes. Two things took me from purchasing costumes to making them: being frugal and showing up at an event in the exact same dress as someone else. So I found Truly Victorian 30


patterns and began making my own outfits. After entering a few costume contests in Tombstone and Phoenix, I was asked to join the Phoenix Costumers Guild. As fate would have it, we were in the process of moving back to Dallas. I was told to look into the DFWCG when I got there. I did and the rest is history. These are the first outfits I made for myself and my daughter. It’s mostly sewn by hand as the machine and I were not the best of friends yet. 31

What is your favorite place to draw inspiration from? I can be inspired from practically anything. It may be something I see while watching TV or a movie, something I see on pinterest, or in a book. I can also be inspired by an accessory (I’ve made more than one dress to match a hat or parasol) or the fabric itself.

Which time period is your favorite to recreate? With all the Civil War dresses I own, you would think that is my favorite era, but it isn’t. I prefer the 1880’s, followed by Edwardian.


Do you consider yourself as having a costuming signature? What would you like to be known for with your costuming? I don’t know about a signature look. I think I would like to be remembered as doing accurate recreations and for having fun. When I stop having fun wearing the costumes, I will probably stop making them.

Do you like to re-wear your costumes, or do you enjoy making something new for

the events you attend? A little of both. I like making new outfits but if the outfit turns out well, it’s great to wear it again and again. I have so many costumes now, that it’s sometimes hard deciding what to wear to an event. On the other hand, I have so many costumes now that if an event comes up at the last minute, I’m probably ready for it.

What’s your favorite finishing touch to make for an outfit? Parasols. Having a matching parasol for an outfit is perfect. And collecting them is addictive. I now own about 15 parasols including 3 “carriage parasols”.

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Has historical costuming influenced your regular wardrobe in any way? I started to say no because I still wear jeans most of the time. But I think historical costuming has influenced me. I pay a lot more attention to what a garment is made out of and how it is made. And then I like to find unique pieces. For example, I have this wonderful cotton skirt that is made of about 24 panels with French seams but the seams are on the outside and it has grosgrain ribbon for a waistband.

What bit of historical fashion do you wish would make a comeback? Big hats or really pretty hats in general. I

adore hats. The only place we see hats (besides ball caps) these days is church at Easter time and the Ascot or Kentucky Derby.

If money were no object, what would be your dream costume to create? I have several dresses in my “dream” list including a Marie Antoinette dress, a Worth reproduction, and some from Downton Abbey. The dresses that intrigue me the most right now are these from Game of Thrones. It’s not the construction as much as the embroidery that overwhelms me. 34


Frontier Fort Days At the Fort Worth Stockyards

Every May, the Fort Worth Stockyards hosts Frontier Fort Days. Reenacting units representing the Civil War, Wild West Cowboys, and even the Rough Riders come out to educate the public and recruit new members. The Dallas Fort Worth Costumers Guild has attended in past years simply as a destination to wear pretty clothes. This year I attended as a member of the 15th Texas Calvary Dismounted, a Civil War reenacting group that my husband and I are members of. On Friday, we present living history displays for school children. That includes weapons and uniforms. You’ll notice that not everyone is in uniform. Southern

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units often wore shirts made of gingham like the young man on the left. These are based on historical photos and I make them for all members of our unit. They are much more comfortable than the wool units the others have on. I brought examples of sewing projects such as quilt squares and samplers. Children are always curious about what I am wearing so I bring an extra corset for them to touch or try on. Our most popular exhibit is Doc and his gory tales of medicine in the mid-19th century. Ladies in our unit mostly dress in work clothes. That consists of cotton dresses with no hoops and straw bonnetts. But I like to pull out a fancy dress every once in a while. My dress is a pale green taffeta gown worn over a cage hoop. 36


NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE EXCESS THE FANTASTIC GOWNS OF ADRIAN’S VERSAILLES


Even before the lavish 2006 film Marie Antoinette, the life of France’s most famous queen and the court she ruled over have been subjects that film makers and costume designers have used to showcase their talents. Nothing lends itself more perfectly to over the top sets and extravagant costumes than the court of Versailles, and in 1938, W.S. Van Dyke tackled the subject matter in an adaptation of the 1932 biography Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman. The storyline follows the ill-fated queen from her initial arrival at Versailles at the young age of 15,

through the Revolution and her imprisonment in the Bastille, and finally ends with her execution. The story focuses initially on the rivalry between Marie Antoinette and Madame du Barry, with many traded insults and malicious pranks played on each other. In reality, the pair only spoke to each other once – Marie Antoinette, after snubbing du Barry for so long, was urged by her advisor to speak to her to smooth the tensions. The only words she ever spoke to du Barry were, “There are a lot of people at Versailles today.” 38


The story leaps forward several years to focus on the affair between Antoinette and the Swedish count, Axel von Fersen. They fall in love at a masked ball, and while Marie remains married to Louis, she pledges to always love Fersen. She bears several children to Louis, including the new Dauphin of France. The rest of the film focuses on the Revolution, the scandal of The Affair of the Necklace, and the royal family’s flight from Versailles as they attempt to seek refuge outside of France. Their escape is thwarted, and and the family is imprisoned in the Bastille. 39

Unlike the 2006 Coppola film, this version details the events that lead up to and fuel the Revolution, as well as the arrest of the royal family and their subsequent trials and imprisonment. It also shows how much the Revolution affected Antoinette, who is said to have aged significantly during her time in the Bastille. The 1938 film ends with Fersen visiting Antoinette in prison the night before her execution, and they pledge their love to each other one last time. One of the goals of the 1938 production was to make everything feel as elaborate and spectacular as possible. For a


ballroom scene that featured a verbal battle between Marie Antoinette and du Barry, the ballroom set was built to be twice as large as the actual ballroom in Versailles to help give a sense of grandness. Authentic period furnishings were purchased in France to be used in the production, and Hollywood legend says that some of the furnishings originally inhabited Versailles itself. The budget of the film ran over its original estimation several times, and the final total came in at an astonishing $2.9 million. A large portion of that budget went toward costume design, which was headed by the legendary Hollywood

costume designer Adrian. He is said to have traveled to France and studied museum originals, and to have put paintings of Marie Antoinette under a microscope to better determine the details of her outfits. For one outfit, the fur collar was dyed to be the exact color of Norma Shearer’s eyes. Because of the extreme amount of embellishment on each gown, Norma Shearer’s wardrobe alone weighed an astounding 1,768 pounds, the wedding dress itself weighing 108! Because of the extravagance of the costume department, the film, originally slated to be produced in Technicolor, was changed to black & white to save money. 40


While we tend not to associate historical accuracy with the costuming of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Adrian did translate several of Marie Antoinette’s original dresses into film versions, though there are definitely 1930s style and fit elements included. The gown she first wears upon her arrival in Paris shows clear influence from a portrait of a young Marie Antoinette. The serpentine design on the dress, mixed with lines of sprigged flowers, is mimicked in Adrian’s arrival gown, which he paired with a featheradorned straw hat. 41

Other costumes have a great amount of historical influence. The men’s costumes have elaborate embroidery and beading, and some of the attendants and servants have exact copies of original uniforms. Many of the costumes were heavily embroidered and embellished with paste stones, spangles, and gold work. No one’s costumes were spared the royal treatment, and every gown, from the lowest Lady in Waiting to the Queen herself, was bedazzled and embellished to the hilt.


These are just three of the designs created by Adrian for the film. Marie Antoinette wears the red gown, with its elaborate spangled embroidery, to the ball at Versailles, and the black gown at the top is for Antoinette’s mother, Maria Theresa. The white gown with red embroidery is for a scene involving the game “Blind Man’s Bluff”, a favorite parlor game during the 18th century. Norma Shearer had a large number of costume changes in this film, wearing thirty-four different gowns and eighteen different wigs.

The designers in the costume department had a monumental task transforming Adrian’s costume sketches into reality. Many of his original designs involved elaborate painted elements, embroidery, and other embellishments that had to be copied exactly from his sketches. The massive amounts of detail involved in each dress meant that a single gown could weigh over 100 pounds, especially since many were made of velvet or heavy-weight silks.

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The Rocket Dress


are classic 1930s styles and fits. The wig was designed to be historical in style, but to not overpower Shearer’s features.

The gown is now in the collection of LACMA – the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – where it is part of their costumes and textiles department. It recently underwent extensive conservation efforts through the University of Delaware, where they worked to patch the many splits and tears in the lame and the deterioration of the sequined rosettes. In all, the restoration took about 90 hours of careful hand-stitching of silk patches for the skirt alone. One of the more spectacular outfits in the film was Marie Antoinettes “Rocket Dress”, which was meant to celebrate the French court’s love of fireworks. The gown was made of heavy metallic silver lame with a silk organza overlay that is decorated with paste stones, French passementaire trim, spangles, beads and antique lace. While not a strict recreation of a period gown, it is true to the style of the period. Only the shape of the bust, the offthe-shoulder neckline, and the shape of the sleeves betray it as a film costume – these 44


Costumes for the Court


The costuming for the extras in the film was just as elaborate as that for the principle actors. They received the same royal treatment – lots of embellishment, heavy fabrics, and stylish wigs. Some of the surviving gowns feature heavy lame fabrics, colorful velvets, and metallic laces and trims. No expense was spared, which pushed the productions budget to its limit and beyond. In all, over 2500 costumes were made for the film, the majority of them ending up on the vast cast of extras that populated the elaborate Versailles crowd. To offset the massive costs of the costumes, many were later rented out to other productions in an attempt to recoup some of the cost.

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The women’s wardrobe was not the sole focus of attention in the film. Adrian and his team of 50 seamstresses, some brought in specifically to focus on embroidery and embellishments, created an array of heavily decorated court wear for the men of the company. While many of the garments seem purely 18th century in style, there is clearly 1930s fashion influence in the cut of the jackets, and film shortcuts are evident, such as stitching the lace to the inside of the sleeve cuff rather than to a shirt. 47


The 1938 production of Marie Antoinette may not be for everyone – it is certainly a Hollywood Golden Age film like no other, and takes all of its cues from the era in which it was made. But the film has its charms beyond the lavish costuming and elaborate sets. Un-credited but instrumental in the creation of the script is none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald, who helped to create the emotional and political tension in the film. The film and cast received several Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Norma Shearer as Antoinette, Best Supporting Actor for Robert Morley as King Louis XVI, Best Art Direction, and Best Film Score. If you enjoyed the 2006 Marie Antoinette film for its production value, the 1938 version is not to be missed. As a bonus, you’ll get a more in-depth look at the events leading up to the Revolution, and a less silly and more politically minded Antoinette. For the costume movie or classic film enthusiast, it’s definitely worth checking out!


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Pretty in Pink Tea Party

Saturday September 17 was our “Pink Tea� at the Heard Craig House in McKinney. This event began over a year ago when I found a roll of pink moire at a garage sale. I paid $25 for it. When my daughter and I unrolled it and measured it, there was over 90 yards. What the heck was I to do with that much pink moire? Give it away. I cut it into 8 yard lengths and handed it out to members of the Costumers Guild with the challenge to make a dress, any era, and we would all wear our dresses at a future function.

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I selected the Heard Craig House in McKinney as the site for our tea after visiting it just before Christmas for their teacup display. When I found out we could get it for a tea, I was hooked. To accommodate more members, we opened the tea to anyone wearing pink. Upon arrival, we were given a wonderful tour of the home which is now a museum. Most of the furniture and decorations are original including the beautiful fretwork in the foyer and stained glass windows throughout. The home contained a lot of innovations for its day including an electric elevator built by the owner. There are lots of places inside and on the grounds for picture taking.

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After the tour we had a delightful tea in the main dining room. We had our choice of 2 fine teas, a lovely salad, sandwiches, and delicious desserts.

Above are the dresses made from the original moire fabric. Everyone loved the event and most are requesting a return to the house, just not in pink.

We ended up with 13 in attendance (a few who planned on attending couldn’t make it at the last minute), with 6 members wearing dresses made from the original fabric. The dresses ranged from Regency up through the 1800 and 1900’s and even included an anime inspired creation.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Coleen for arranging this event, providing the fabric for the pink moire challenge, and contributing this article!


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Meeting Business Spring

DFWCG Business Meeting Minutes – 5/26/16

removed from accessing the Google Drive.

In attendance: Megan Martin, Beth Klimek, Jen Thompson, Catharine Myers, Josie Smith, Sandi Dreer, Coleen Swafford, Debbie Redfern

Beth has printed out the bylaws and is working on streamlining and clarifying them.

7:06pm – Call to order Treasurer’s Report There is $2,063.05 in our PayPal account, and $914.51 in our bank account for a total of $2,977.56. It was decided to close our bank account and work solely through PayPal to eliminate banking fees. Beth and Jay are working together to transfer the money from our bank account to our PayPal and close out the bank account. New Business New brochures, business cards, and flyers have been designed by Megan. Proofs have been ordered by Beth through Vistaprint, and final versions will be ordered soon. Website has been moved from Blogger to Wix. The Guild’s blog will remain on Blogger, and anyone with access to it can still post to the blog if they wish. Beth is working on having our d.b.a. renewed, and the paperwork is already processing. The fee for renewal was $25. The renewal process is online in a pdf. Google Drive has been reorganized and streamlined to allow for easier access to necessary documents and files. Former officers that are no longer active have been

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Discussed creating individual event pages on the website for ease of navigation, rather than one long list that needs to be scrolled through. This has since been accomplished and is active on the website. A PayPal button for automatic membership renewals has been created, but has not yet been tested. Membership renewal emails are running behind this year. Talked about using Wix’s free ShoutOut newsletters to send out mass renewal emails to members. Poll members to see if there’s interest in creating member profiles on the website, with pictures and bios. This might encourage people new to the guild to come to events if they feel like they already know and recognize a few members. This idea seemed well received and will be brought to our members for vote. Plan to bring back workshops has been delayed because of scheduling conflicts for most members. Attempts will be made in fall to renew efforts to hosting workshops. Volunteers and teachers are needed! Workshops can be held in the free classroom space at JoAnn Fabrics locations across the Metroplex. These could be open to non-members as well, and brochures/flyers about the DFWCG and the workshops specifically could be displayed at JoAnn Fabrics.


Plan to advertise the DFWCG’s presence more at places with costume-minded people, such as UNT theater, JoAnn Fabrics, local conventions, and with other costume groups (Steampunk Society, Art Deco Society, Jane Austen Society, etc.) Catharine plans to print out flyers that we can begin posting around the area to bring in interested people. Eleven people have registered so far for CLW, and fifteen are needed to secure the facility. As of the meeting, all but one had paid in full. It's going to be very open with 1 panel (the bustle panel is returning by request) and 1 workshop. Rooms this year will not be assigned, everyone will be able to choose their own rooms and roommates. There was some confusion as to the theme and structure of the event. It was suggested that a firm theme would make things easier for both attendees and teachers to plan around for next time. There was a general preference for more classes or presentations in the future, and more themed costume events during the weekend. Discussed making CLW an every-other-year event, with an out of town road trip costume weekend on the “off” years. More discussion on this in the Fall. Officer Elections need to be held. It was decided to send out an email to our members, and to create a thread in the Facebook group, announcing the open positions to open it up for people to throw their hat in the ring. Once everyone that wants to run has announced their intention, an online poll will be sent out to our members through email. Upcoming Events June 18th – Star Wars Concert @ Concert in the Gardens – Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. Gates open at 6:30PM. Jen has offered to organize the meetup for this event. Tickets are $22 online, but are higher at the gate the day of the concert, so it’s encouraged to buy them in advance. Lines form early to get in, so arrive at least 30 minutes before the gates open to get a good spot in line. July 30th – Star Trek Beyond Movie Premier. It was decided to see the movie together the weekend after the official premier to avoid large crowds. A location for

this event still needs to be decided. August 18th – Sherlock at the Library – 6:30PM – We were contacted earlier this year by the Watauga Public Library to do a Victorian dressing demonstration for their Sherlock event. Beth and Jay will be spearheading this event together. The more the merrier, so if you want to enjoy the event you can come and enjoy the library’s Sherlock event in Victorian dress; you do not have to participate in the demonstration itself if you don’t want to, but the Victorian attire would be welcomed to add flavor to the evening! September 17th – Pretty in Pink Tea – 1PM @ The HeardCraig House in McKinney. Tea will be to celebrate the end of the pink moiré sewing challenge, but is not restricted to those that participated in the challenge, and is open to everyone who wishes to join us. The theme is pink, so wear a pink outfit or accessory! Tickets are $30, and will include the tea and a tour of the historic house. October 1st – Pumpkins & Plaid Picnic – 1PM @ Dallas Arboretum. Phantom of the Opera at Bass Hall was originally planned as a Guild event on the 29th. However, all of the showings are nearly sold out, and the remaining tickets are individual seats that are approaching $200/each. It was decided to cancel our event for Phantom. November 19th @ 1pm: Georgian Picnic – Detailed event page is up on the website, including the FAQs that Jen put together. We’ll be returning to River Legacy Park by the Pavilion this year. December 2-4 – Dickens on the Strand – Galveston – Several of our members are heading down to Galveston for the Dickens on the Strand Victorian Christmas festival. Everyone is arranging their own accommodations, and plans are still being discussed for any Guild meetups while people are there for the festival. More information will be forthcoming. There were several other options for December, but it was agreed to wait until the Fall business meeting to nail down plans for December and Spring of 2017. 9:44pm – Meeting adjourned.

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Vintage Train Excursion

At the end of September, our members made a trip to Rusk, Texas to enjoy a ride on the Vintage Steam Train, a trip through the scenic Piney Woods that includes a stop for a picnic lunch. Since the train ran from 1881 until the 1920s, our members had a lot of options when it came to costuming. Everything from Victorian to 1920s Vintage was there! The scenic trip and picnic lunch also provided plenty of opportunities for great pictures. Enjoy this look at this unique event!

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Calendar of Events

Pumpkins & Plaid Picnic Dallas Arboretum – Dallas, TX

Oct. 22

Nov. 19 8th Annual Georgian Picnic River Legacy Park – Arlington, TX

Join us on Facebook on November 5th for our Fall Business Meeting! We’ll be discussing Guild business and planning events for the remaineder of the Fall and Winter seasons.

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We would like to thank all of our readers for their support We look forward to bringing you our Winter Issue in January

Contributors Beth Klimek Megan Martin Coleen Swafford Jennifer Thompson

Events Events are added to our calendar as we learn of them, and so the list in DFWCG magazine may not reflect the entire list of upcoming events for the DFW area. If you are hosting or know of an event that you would like to see listed in our Upcoming Events calendar, please email dfwcgmagazine@gmail.com. For the most up to date information on Guild events, and other costume events in DFW, please visit our website at DFWCG.org.

Costume Showcase

Contributing to DFWCG Magazine

Our Costume Showcase is designed to celebrate excellence in costuming displayed by the members of our Guild. If you are a member of the DFW Costumers Guild and would like to have your costume considered for our Costume Showcase, please email dfwcgmagazine@gmail.com with a clear full-length color photograph of your costume and a short description of the inspiration, materials, and construction process. If you costume is chosen for the Showcase, we will contact you for a more in-depth interview.

We are always seeking contributors to our magazine! If you have a sewing or costuming tutorial, an event report, a costuming research article, costume movie review, or any other costume related content that you would like to see included in an upcoming issue of the magazine, please email us! Submissions can be sent as Microsoft Word documents or PDF files, and will be formatted to best fit into the magazine. For tutorials, please include a clear color photo of each step that you have written in your article.


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DFWCG Summer/Fall Magazine Double Issue  

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