# #5 5
A Note from the Editor This year started off with a bang, and it looks like it’s just going to keep getting better. The next few months are bringing us some big events – reenactments, festivals, and our own retreat, Costumer’s Lost Weekend. Spring is traditionally a busy time for us. The weather is still cool enough for us to enjoy some outdoor events, but warm enough that we don’t shiver too much. The spring months are packed with festivals and shows, many of which lend themselves to historical costuming. We also have a lot of new events planned for this spring, and I can’t wait to try them all. San Jacinto is celebrating the 180 th anniversary of the battle with a reenactment, which is a great excuse to make some 1830s clothes, a time period that a lot of costumers haven’t explored yet. There are also a slew of local festivals that we’ll be visiting, and I can’t wait to take in the springtime flowers and wear some new festive costumes. We’re looking forward to putting together some exciting new events, and I can’t wait to see what the season holds for the Guild!
Photo by: David and Eileen Ng. Taken near Bluebonnet Trail in Ennis, TX Currently Seeking: Tutorials – Pattern Reviews – Event Reports – Costume Articles Visit us at: DFWCG.ORG
11 Caillebotte at the
Kimbell In February we enjoyed a Victorian-themed outing to the Kimbell Museum and La Madeleine restaurant.
23 Gallifrey One
05 Winter Tea at the Adolphus For our January event we visited the beautiful Adolphus hotel to enjoy their Afternoon Tea service.
17 Costumer Spotlight Get to know DFWCG member Beth Klimek
Some of our Guild members traveled to California to enjoy the massive Gallifrey One Doctor Who convention. Read all about their experience!
33 Black Tie Guide Learn about the evolution of men’s formal and informal evening fashions, from the Regency to the 1930s, in this historical menswear primer.
51 Jazz Age Picnic
67 Costume Showcase 55 Francaise Dinner
Dixie Davis of Dixie DIY talks about making her beautiful 1880s bustle day dress.
One of our members traveled to Virginia this March to enjoy the annual Francaise Dinner at the historic Gadsby’s Tavern.
The Jazz Age Picnic in Dallas is an annual springtime favorite. Our members have contributed to a photo spread featuring some of this year’s highlights!
71 Calendar of Events See what costume events we have planned in our Calendar of Events.
61 Tiaras and Toe Shoes The Texas Ballet Theater welcomed us back for their performance of Cinderella.
Winter Tea at the Adolphus 5
Once the tallest building in the state, the grand Adolphus Hotel seems to have a magical ability to transport its guest to another time. Built in 1912, the lobby, tea rooms, and corridors all feature polished wood paneling, making each space feel inviting and warm, while the brass accents, classical paintings, and antique style furnishings all retain the air of
Edwardian elegance. There is a large cast brass chandelier in the registration area that is original to the building, and the piano in the lobby was also built in 1912 â€“ once owned by the Guggenheim family, the piano was supposed to be on the Titanic, but wasnâ€™t completed in time for the voyage!
This beautiful hotel was the setting for our Winter Tea. The Adolphus hosts an afternoon tea every weekend. It consists of four courses of delicious sandwiches, pastries, and scones. Each course is paired with a tea that compliments the flavors of the dish, and they ranged from a deep African Amber to a light Vanilla Bean tea. They even offered and alternative gluten- free menu, which was surprisingly diverse, with scones, sandwiches, and desserts to rival the regular menu. We were given ample time to enjoy each course and converse with the other guests before they brought out the next round, and we never felt rushed or hurried along. 7
Because we were such a large group, we were given our own private room, which featured an ornate wooden fireplace, wood paneling, 17 th and 18th century paintings, and a selection of classical music. We had ample space to enjoy the tea without having to maneuver around other guests at the Adolphus, which made it easy for us to mingle with each other. People had come from all over the state to join us, and we had visitors all the way from Houston and College Station! Members of other local costuming groups also joined us, from a ladyâ€™s tea circle to members of a Steampunk group. The Adolphus had a wonderful staff and the venue itself was absolutely gorgeous. Hopefully weâ€™ll see more events at this beautiful location in the future, and see some of our new friends at our other outings! 9
Caillebotte At the Kimbell AA VViiccttoorriiaann EErraa O Ouuttiinngg ttoo tthhee IIm mpprreessssiioonniisstt EExxhhiibbiitt aatt tthhee KKiim mbbeellll AArrtt M Muusseeuum m
hhee IIm mpprreessssiioonniisstt ppaaiinntteerr CCaaiillleebboottttee w waass kknnoow wnn ffoorr hhiiss uunnuussuuaall aanngglleess,, w whhaatt w wee m miigghhtt llooookk aatt aanndd sseeee aass aallm moosstt cciinneem maattiicc iinn tthhee ttrreeaattm meenntt ooff tthheeiirr ssuubbjjeeccttss.. HHee aallssoo eennjjooyyeedd ppaaiinnttiinngg sscceenneess w whhiicchh w weerree ccoonnssiiddeerreedd uunnuussuuaall aatt tthhee ttiim mee,, ssuucchh aass hhiiss fflloooorr ssccrraappeerrss hhaarrdd aatt w woorrkk,, aa ssuubbjjeecctt tthhaatt w woouulldd hhaavvee bbeeeenn ccoonnssiiddeerreedd bbeenneeaatthh tthhee nnoottiiccee ooff aann aarrttiisstt.. HHee w waass aallssoo ccrriittiicciizzeedd aatt oonnee ppooiinntt ffoorr nnoott bbeeiinngg iim mpprreessssiioonniissttiicc eennoouugghh –– hhiiss ppaaiinnttiinnggss w weerree ttoooo rreeaalliissttiicc.. TThhiiss w woorrkkss iinn tthhee ccoossttuum meerr’’ss ffaavvoorr,, tthhoouugghh,, aass w wee aarree ggiivveenn aann iinnssiigghhtt iinnttoo tthhee ddaaiillyy ddrreessss ooff bbootthh uuppppeerr aanndd lloow weerr ccllaassss m meenn aanndd w woom meenn ooff CCaaiillleebboottttee’’ss ttiim mee.. DDeettaaiillss ssuucchh aass tthhee ddoottss iinn aa llaaddyy’’ss vveeiill,, tthhee pprriinntt ooff aa ggoow wnn,, tthhee ppaatttteerrnn oonn aa sshhiirrtt,, aarree aalll ccaappttuurreedd iinn bbeeaauuttiiffuull ddeettaaiill,, rreeaaddyy ffoorr tthhee hhiissttoorriiccaall ccoossttuum meerr ttoo eexxaam miinnee aanndd rreeccrreeaattee..
It was a crisp morning when we all met at the museum to enjoy the exhibit. The sky was a bit overcast, and the day looked like it fit in well with the rainy day scenes that Caillebotte had painted. We spent a bit of time in the museum atrium as we waited for everyone to arrive. There, they had a “selfie wall” with a blown up version of the Rainy Day painting. Visitors could take pictures with props like umbrellas and top hats and insert themselves into the scene. We all took turns taking pictures in front of the wall, and with a bit of photo magic we looked just like part of the painting! We heading into the exhibit just before noon, and the rooms were already starting to fill with visitors. We wound our way through the exhibit, which began with one of Caillebotte’s self-portraits and moved on to his famous
The Floor Scrapers. There was a large selection of portraiture of his friends, which offered some great detailing of men’s clothing from the 1870s and 1880s. Each section of the exhibit had a theme – friends of the painter,people involved in leisure activities, landscapes, and even a section full of still-lifes of cuts of meat and butchered game! In the center section were the largest-scale paintings, which included Paris Street; Rainy Day, a full-length portrait of a man in a dark suit (with excellent facial hair), and several industrial-themed paintings of people on steel bridges and railroads. The exhibit had many of his most wellknown works, as well as some more obscure pieces, which gave a nice sense of the entire scope of his career. 14
Because of his attention to detail, we were able to pick out some fun costume details – a leopard print lining in a man’s coat, a lady wearing a pair of red stockings, a pair of shoes with tiny bows on them, and tiny buttons on a lady’s topcoat. We even noticed a few fun things about the way people behaved in the paintings. All the ladies were holding the back of their skirts up as they walked outdoors, and in one portrait of a lady reclining with a book, we noted how she seemed to be 15
battling her bosom the way we also do when we sit down at an odd angle! It was a lot of fun to be able to relate to the ladies in those paintings and the way their clothing affected their posture and habits. At the end of the exhibit we had a little bit of a bonus – a free exhibit of Castiglione’s oil and paper sketches. A lot of them were preludes to larger works that he later completed, so it was an interesting glimpse at the artist’s creative process.
After the museum, we headed over to La Madeleine for what has become our traditional post-museum luncheon. We enjoyed some excellent food and good conversation, and before leaving we went outside to take more pictures together. It had somehow worked out that a bunch of us had chosen nearly the same color to wear or accessories with, so of course we had to document all the blue outfits! A visit to the Kimbell has become somewhat of a tradition for our January month, and it is always a wonderful event. Iâ€™m looking forward to next January, when they are presenting a collection of Monetâ€™s early works! 16
Costumer Spotlight Beth Klimek
What originally got you into historical costuming? Like many of my fellow costumers, Renaissance attire was my first foray into historical costuming. The area I lived in at the time didnâ€™t have any local Renaissance festivals, but it did have a significant LARP (live action role play) presence. The game I played encouraged attire from 1100-1500. The internet was still fairly new, and there werenâ€™t many options for buying appropriate clothing online. So, I started making my own!
How do you feel your costuming focus has changed since you started? I’m much more conscious and interested in what was historically accurate, especially in regards to fabric, silhouette and foundation garments. Getting the look just right is really important to me now, whereas I just winged it pretty often when I was just starting out. I’ve also branched out into different eras instead of just focusing on the Renaissance period. 19
What is your favorite time period to costume? I’m torn between the Victorian late bustle era and the last quarter of the 18th century. I’m drawn to the frilly stuff!
Is there an era or a style that you'd like to try but haven't done yet? I want to delve into the Edwardian and American Civil War eras. I keep collecting patterns and fabrics, but I haven’t actually sewn anything up just yet.
What is your favourite source to draw inspiration from? I draw a lot of inspiration from movies and TV shows that portray historical or historic-esque clothing. I love seeing how the garments move on the actors, and how they’re complemented by the set dressing. It’s rare that I make a replica based on something I’ve seen on screen though – I prefer to go back to original sources like fashion plates and photos of extant garments for that.
Do you go into a project with a clear plan, or do you sort of wing it as you go along? I usually have a strong notion of what I want, but sometimes changes along the way. It may sounds silly, but if the project tells me it wants to be something different then I listen. Some of my favorite pieces have come from that process.
What is your favourite part of a costume to create? I really love the accessories: jewelry, hats, hairpieces, bags…the small details can really make or break a costume.
If money were no object, what costume would you love to create? I’d love to create the ballgown from the Cinderella movie. I have no idea where I’d ever wear it, but I’d love to (re)make it!
Do you feel that historical costuming has influenced your daily wardrobe in any way? Not in the slightest. My everyday wear is very practical by necessity and rooted in modern fashion. I love the ‘escape’ that historical costuming offers me.
What bit of historical costume do you wish would make a comeback? I wish stylish hats for everyday wear would make a comeback. Not only are they practical in blocking the sun and summer heat, they really help set off a great outfit! 22
Gallifrey One A Dr Who Convention By Sandi Dreer
Over Valentineâ€™s weekend, Coleen, Kayle and I returned to Gallifrey One in Los Angeles, CA. Coleen also brought her husband, Bill, along for the adventure. We planned our trip to arrive in LA a day before the convention so we could see the FIDM costume exhibit and do a bit of shopping in the LA fabric district.
What is a trip to LA without a trip to the fabric district and a costume exhibit? Impossible to plan! Last year, we saw the V&A Oscar Costume Exhibit. This year, we went to the FIDM Museum’s 24th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design. We were able to see costumes up close from Cinderella, Crimson Peak, Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Suffragette, Trumbo, MacBeth, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, The Danish Girl, and several other films.
We followed the exhibit up with a quick stop into the FIDM Scholarship Shop. Coleen & I both purchased some beaded fringe. Look for it to appear on future outfits! If you haven’t added this shop to your list of go-to’s when in LA, you need to! They had trim for as low as 50¢ per yard. In the fabric district, it was trim, trim & more trim! With the addition of tailoring chalk in multiple colors.
Coleen and I both cosplayed Missy, the rather insane Master. We, along with over a dozen other Missyâ€™s, had a fabulous tea before heading for photo ops with Michelle Gomez. The female incarnation of the Master wears a purple Edwardian suit. Sandi and Coleen purchased a lightweight suiting a couple of years ago in the Dallas fabric district and recreated the suit and Missyâ€™s accessories.
Coleen also wore a dress that she drafted the pattern for – River Song’s Zeeda dress, from All Saint’s. This dress has been sold out for ages but a costuming friend in Kansas City shipped her screen accurate dress to Coleen for her to develop a pattern from. The dress is unusual in its construction – zippers everywhere, cording, and other odd bits. The belt also presents challenges as it is held closed with screw-on rivets Coleen took measurements of each piece and notes on how it fit together. There were over 30 pattern pieces and none resembled normal patterns. The pattern also had to be enlarged 2 sizes. Then Coleen made a mockup out of muslin before beginning the actual dress. She intends to do a little more tweaking on the dress and belt as well.
And Coleen couldnâ€™t ignore the bustle era. The Crimson Horror episode features Dame Diana Rigg asBurton the 1893 Figure 1 Coleen as Mrs Gillyflower, Rebecca asMrs. Ada Gillyflower. GillyflowerBut Mrs. Gillyflower has a secretâ€Śand his name is Mr. Sweet. Coleen recreated the Victorian gown to include a pull-away section to show off Mr. Sweet. This dress was made using Truly Victorian patterns. The skirt and most of the polonaise are made of light weight wool. The front of the polonaise is a flocked taffeta covered with lace. The detachable high neckline was made of the same satin as the bustier beneath the polonaise.
Coleen was not the only DFWCG member in Victorian attire. Kayle wore her recreation of Clara Oswald’s green Victorian gown from the Deep Breath episode, where Clara & the Doctor travel to Victorian London and meet up with the Paternaster Gang. This was creating using TV463 for the bodice and Wingeo 319 for the underskirt. And procrastination was the name of the game! We started purchasing fabric for this when we were in LA for Gallifrey One 2015. The green poly velvet was purchased in the LA fabric district; the silk that makes up the underskirt was purchased this summer at my local Hancock Fabrics in their
underskirt was purchased this summer at my local Hancock Fabrics in their upholstery section. It’s not as thick as we’d like it to be but it was one of the only fabrics we could locate with the squares the right size. I also applied a coffee/tea dye to the fabric. The trims were purchased in a variety of locations too, with some coming from our shopping excursion in LA and some locally. She is also wearing the collapsible bustle that she made at CLW2015. Kayle also entered this gown into the Gallifrey One 2016 Masquerade. 30
Kayle wore her Robot of Sherwood gown again in 2016. She debuted this costume at Gallifrey One in 2015 and because of their Masquerade rules, was only able to wear it in public after the Masquerade or costume contest was completed. For detailed information on how this was created, visit the costume diary at https://goo.gl/pNV380.
I also had a new costume for Gallifrey One. One of the new characters introduced this past season was Ashildr. After she became immortal, she began to refer to herself as Me. She also dressed as a man to rob coaches. This heavy coat was made from JoAnnâ€™s Crypton Suede in Chocolate. The waistcoat is linen and the patterns for both were Reconstructing History. You can read more about this costume in its costume diary, https://goo.gl/S181lx.
More photos of Gallifrey One & the FIDM exhibit can be found on Sandiâ€™s Flickr stream, https://www.flickr.com/photos/39118642@N08/.
THE BLACK TIE GUIDE A BRIEF PRIMER ON MEN’S FORMAL FASHIONS
Fashion fades, style is forever. ~Yves St. Laurent Resources on women’s formal fashions are generally easy to find. A quick internet search will pull up a myriad of fashion plates to draw inspiration from, and costume blogs and articles help us with our sewing techniques and construction. There are also dozens of patterns to choose from, many with detailed instructions on how to achieve the look we want. But, when it comes to men’s fashion, we’re left with considerably fewer resources. There are only a few fashion plates online, and even fewer patterns to draw from. How do we know what we’re making is correct for the period? How much actual variation was there? What we think of as “black tie” fashion today has its origins in the Regency era, when men’s fashion turned from flashy, peacock-y ensembles of brightly colored, embroidered silks to more reserved styles. The frock coat of the 18th century was replaced with the tailcoat, a style which has survived into today’s formal fashions. The revolution in men’s clothing at the end of the 18 th century owes a great deal to the famous dandy Beau Brummell.
Brummell led the revolution in men’s fashion at the beginning of the Regency period. Unable to afford the flashy and expensive garments that his fellow military officers wore, he instead championed simpler, understated clothing that was finely tailored and fit. He favored a palette of limited, earthy colors for coats over the brightly colored silks of previous decades and paired them with light-colored waistcoats and breeches. He brought the cravat into fashion, and was famous for the intricate folds of his neckties. As Brummell was a close friend of the Prince Regent, who himself was greatly influenced by Brummell’s sense of fashion, the upper class was quick to adopt the new look. The most formal dress of period, as prescribed by Brummell, was a dark blue or black tailcoat with a white waistcoat and black breeches or trousers. This became the required attire for many of London’s most fashionable clubs, but it was much slower to catch on with the aristocracy than Brummell’s other stylistic changes. They continued to favor lighter colored breeches with their formal attire, and the lighter color breeches and trousers persisted for several decades after Brummell’s death. Men’s styles did not change considerably for several decades after the Regency 35
period. However,they did change in fit. Where the early Regency featured close-fitting clothing, coats and trousers became looser and more baggy. Sleeve heads became very tall during the Romantic period, and coat skirts became rather voluminous. The waist also dropped from the high styles fashionable during the Regency to a more natural waist, which was nipped in tightly. Black trousers finally caught on for evening wear during the Romantic period.
1828 As the Victorian age began, styles began to shift again. Emphasis was shifted toward the chest, with wide lapels and broad silhouettes coming into fashion to create the illusion of a small waist. By the 1830s, black trousers were the standard for evening attire, and dark blue fell out of fashion for coats. The top hat came into fashion during the 1820s, replacing the crescent shaped hats worn with full dress during the Napoleonic era. The baggy trousers of the early Romantic period narrowed toward the middle of the century, before relaxing again toward the end of the era.
The Victorian era saw a division of formal attire into two distinct categories – “morning dress”, which was formal clothing worn during the day, and “evening dress” or full dress. There were strict rules governing what could be worn at what time of day, and in whose company. Evening dress was the most formal, and had the most rules. It was said that in the evening, in your private home, to dress all in black, and to wear your most formal coat as though always expecting visitors. Sunday evening was the only time full dress was seen as inappropriate, and it was suggested that morning suits were acceptable to wear after dark on Sundays. Americans, though, had much looser definitions of formal attire. Evening dress was worn at any occasion that was perceived as formal, regardless of the time of day or day of the week. One distinction that did drop away was the difference in dress for opera, balls, and dinner, as the Victorian era favored a practical, uniform approach to evening attire. The theory was that one could dress for dinner and then be ready for the opera, ball, or calls directly afterward, without the hassle of having to change clothing. With the uniformity of men’s formal fashions, greater emphasis was placed on executing these styles well. By the middle of the Victorian period, the standards and 37
rules for wearing formal attire had reached their height. Black tailcoats had been crowned as the supreme look for the properly dressed gentleman, with only a handful of men still wearing the brown or blue styles of decades past. When a gentleman’s fashion magazine noted the slimming effects of black, it drove the final nail into the coffin of the colored coat. The variety of coat styles was also whittled down during the Victorian period. While previously tailcoats could have been double or single breasted, and designed to be either open or closed in the front, by the early 1870s the main style of coat was open in front, designed not to button
not to button closed, but with two ornamental buttons on either side of the front. Styles of collar notches were also narrowed down to one particular look, with the M notched collar disappearing from fashion. Lapels were lined with black silk, but only to the buttonholes, where the facing would be of the suit wool. By the end of the 1880s, there was a push toward less formal, less rigid fashions. While Americans finally adopted the morning suit, they did so for evening wear when they wished to be less formal, rather than as formal daywear. The English, loathe to wear any manner of daywear
after dark, instead adopted the Dinner Jacket, or Tuxedo. This adaptation of less restrictive daywear fashion quickly caught on with the upper classes, who chose to wear it to less formal evening affairs. Originally, the dinner jacket was seen as the most informal of evening dress, and was worn only in the most casual of settings. Gentleman would wear the dinner jacket only at the club, at informal dinners at home, or in the company of other men at the club. It was never to be worn in mixed company, and only Full Dress was worn when dining or attending formal functions with ladies, who would have been dressed in their finest gowns. 38
1889 The popularity of the dinner jacket could not be denied, though. Mass produced, comfortable clothing was sweeping the upper middle classes, and the formality of Full Dress was falling out of favor. Clothing conventions began changing rapidly at the end of the Victorian era, so that lounge suits replaced morning suits for daywear, and the dinner jacket began replacing the tailcoat for evening wear in informal settings. Early dinner jackets all sported shawl collars, but by the turn of the century the peak collar of the formal tailcoat had been 39
brought over to the more informal style. It was cut so that the front did not close, but showed off the waistcoat and shirt underneath. Otherwise, the uniform didnâ€™t change â€“ white shirt with either a turndown or wing collar, a bow tie, waistcoat, and trousers in the same fabric as the coat, with military braid on the outseam. Full dress began undergoing a transformation as well. Because Full Dress started becoming available in department store catalogs, making it available to a wider range of men, the rules for what constituted a well-dressed man became
extremely rigid and detailed. Sleeve length was regulated to the millimeter, and the appearance of a stray crease or wrinkle could be the cause of sartorial embarrassment. Minor changes began to occur in the decades-old styling of Full Dress, as well. Lapels were faced to the edge with silk, rather than ending at the buttonholes. The shawl collar was brought to popularity by British dandies in the 1880s, but the peaked lapel made a comeback by the end of the decade. Velvet collars, which had been popular since the 1850s, fell out of fashion by the 1890s, likely due to the new popularity of the shawl collar, and it never returned. Waistcoats were now the low U-shaped style almost exclusively, as they were better able to show off the dress shirt. Where in decades before white and black waistcoats had been relatively interchangeable, it was proclaimed by men’s fashion and etiquette books that only black waistcoats were suitable with dinner jackets, firmly placing black waistcoats in the “informal” category of dress. The exception was in America, where the black waistcoat was still regularly worn with Full Dress as the white waistcoat was seen as luxurious and for only the most formal of occasions. Shirts underwent a transformation in the Late Victorian, as well. Stiffened with massive amounts of starch, the “boiled shirt” was made of pique or linen and featured a four-layer thick front bib which could be either plain or pleated. Detachable cuffs and collars, which were popular because they could be reversed when soiled to save on laundry costs, fell out of fashion, and attached collars and cuffs became the norm. Black ties were relegated to informal attire, while white ties were reserved for Full Dress. 40
By the turn of the century, the dress code for evening wear had been pretty firmly set. The dinner jacket, however, was becoming accepted in more and more situations. Warm weather exempted men from wearing Full Dress to formal events, helping the dinner jacket to gain popularity. In America, it was acceptable for men attending the opera alone, and not in a box, to wear a tuxedo jacket, and it was acceptable to wear the dinner jacket when dining at a restaurant or in a close friend’s home. The Edwardian period saw a few more changes to the style of evening dress. The shawl collar became increasingly rare in full dress, and was gone completely by WWI. Rather than being cut parallel to the waist as in previous decades, the front of the coat was angled back toward the tails, creating a more dramatic line. By 1913 there was trend that the collar, cuffs, and bib of the shirt would match the fabric of the waistcoat and tie. This trend became permanent, and is still a fixture of formal dress today. The fit of evening dress fluctuated wildly during the Edwardian period. They became extremely loose prior to 1910, almost resembling some styles from the 1940s, before once again becoming close fitting after 1910. Fitted profiles remained popular until the 1930s, when styles once again became more relaxed. 41
With the end of WWI, the English upper classes found themselves unable to host the lavish dinner parties and soirees that they had enjoyed in prewar days. With more formal occasions on the way out, full dress fell out of favor as well, and the tuxedo became the favorite style for evening wear. As the 1920s began, youth and energy drove the fashion scene. Slim fitting tuxedos were worn for every sort of occasion, with full dress being relegated to formal balls and boxes at the opera. In 1922, the beacon of etiquette, Emily Post, wrote that if a man cannot afford two suits for evening wear, that the Tuxedo was the more important to own, as it was worn “every evening and nearly everywhere.” Wearing full dress except for the most formal of occasions was now seen as a faux pas. Dressing was meant to make people feel at ease, and being overdressed somewhere that might make others feel uncomfortable was seen as extremely ill-mannered. The 1920s brought more shifts in fashion. While King George sought to bring back the formality of previous decades, his son was much more interested in comfort and being stylish, and as a swinging bachelor,he had much greater influence on menswear.
He regularly opted for the dinner jacket over full dress, which elevated the informal dinner jacket so it became more acceptable for formal occasions. He also reintroduced the midnight blue evening coat, a style that hadn’t been popular since the Regency. White waistcoats also came back into fashion with dinner jackets. Because of their difficulty to launder and keep white, they had previously been relegated strictly to the most formal of styles. With several of the British aristocracy appearing in white waistcoats, the trend quickly caught on, and Americans were quick to copy their English cousins. Straight-waisted waistcoats were also revived, known as “tub” style waistcoats, as their cut could better accommodate the height and fullness of the new style of trouser. Backless waistcoats also first appeared on the scene in the 1920s. This style became popular as it trapped much less body heat, making it ideal for tropical climates. Most shockingly, double breasted dinner coats came into fashion, often worn without a waistcoat. Boiled shirts, condemned as stiff and uncomfortable, were tossed aside for soft front shirts with soft attached collars. Etiquette writers cautioned their readers that double breasted coats with soft shirts were appropriate only for tropical climates. 43
The tuxedo saw its Golden Age in the 1930s. Mass produced, ready to wear tuxedos, and the newly available tuxedo rental, meant that they were easily accessible and more affordable than ever. The more relaxed, flamboyant styles of the 1920s spread in popularity, and fashion changed from uncomfortable to fun. The new backless waistcoats became increasingly more popular, and by the time the Prince who had introduced them became the King of England, they were the preferred style of the fashionable elite. Some of the more daring dressers of the age also opted for colored waistcoats rather than plain black or white. Midnight blue suits were imported to American from England and were an immediate hit. It soon surpassed black in popularity, and became the most sought-after color for dinner jackets. Warm weather black tie was also introduced. By the beginning of the 1930s, visitors to tropical climates chose to wear white dinner jackets rather than black. It was made linen or silk and worn with trousers in tropical weight wool. Cummerbunds also gained popularity as an alternative to the waistcoat. After WWII, styles became continuously more informal, and neither the tuxedo nor the tailcoat ever experienced the
popularity they once did. While formal fashions continue to evolve, they are now rarely worn outside of weddings, proms, or the very rare societal event that calls for formal dress. White Tie or Full Dress has vanished from America almost completely, and is enjoyed at only a handful of diplomatic functions. With the continuing trend toward comfort and informality, itâ€™s unlikely these dapper fashions will ever enjoy the popularity they once did. 44
1800 â€“ 1810s Black or dark colored coat with either M or V notched lapels. Blue coats were often worn with brass buttons. White waistcoat. White cravat. Breeches or trousers both acceptable, in either light color or black. The crescent-shaped chapeau bras was worn for full dress, with tall hats for less formal occasions. 45
Black or blue coat with M or V notched lapels. Can be double or single breasted. White waistcoat. White cravat. White or dark trousers or breeches. Silhouette becomes broader at shoulders and narrower at waist. Sleeve heads become taller and sleeves become looser from the elbow up. Top hats.
Colored coats fall out of fashion in favor of black. M or V notched collar. White or black v-shaped waistcoat. White cravat. Black, close fitting trousers become standard for evening wear. Breeches are no longer fashionable. Lapels become wider and longer. Sleeve head collapses and top half of sleeve narrows again. Top hats.
Black coats. Double breasted coats become somewhat ornamental, unable to close but still keeping the buttons on the front. White or black v-shaped waistcoat. Close-fitting black trousers that narrow toward the ankle. Silhouette emphasizes the chest to make the waist appear smaller. Top hats.
Black coats. M notched collars have pretty much faded from fashion. White or black v-shaped waistcoats. Shirts could have either folding or standing (wing) collar. Trousers begin to relax in fit, but still taper toward the ankle. Military-style braid comes into fashion on outseam of trouser. Top hats.
Black coat is now standard. V notched collar becomes standard. Silk-facing lapels appear, but only cover lapel up until buttonholes. Shawl collar is introduced. Velvet collars also in fashion. White shirt with wing or turndown collar. White or black v-shaped waistcoat. Black, relaxed fit trousers in same wool as coat. Militarystyle braid on outside of leg common. Top Hat. 46
1870s Black coat. Shawl collar falls out of fashion. White shirt with wing or turndown collar. U-shaped waistcoats begin to become fashionable. Waistcoat in either white or black, though white was viewed as more formal. Single or double breasted. Black relaxed fit trouser in same wool as coat with military braid popular on outseams. Black silk “string” tie comes into fashion. 47
1880s Fashion remains relatively unchanged from the 1870s to 1880s. Black coat with silk lapel facing ending at buttonholes. White shirt with turndown or wing collar. Black or white waistcoat with U or V shape, with U taking over in popularity. Trousers in same wool as coat. Military style braid on outseam. White tie. Top Hat.
1890s – Full Dress Full dress remained much as it had during the previous three decades, with only minor changes in fit. Black coat. White shirt with wing collar. White (UK) or black (US) waistcoat. Trousers in same fabric as coat. White tie. Top Hat.
1890s – Informal Dress
1900s – Full Dress
Introduced in the late 1880s, the Dinner jacket or Tuxedo gained popularity as an informal alternative to Full Dress.
Black coat, silk facings all the way to edge of lapel. Shawl collar falls out of fashion for full dress. White waistcoat of pique silk becomes standard. U-shaped. White shirt with wing collar. Trousers in same fabric as coat, with military style braid on outseam. White tie. Top Hat.
Black coat with shawl collar. White or black U-shaped waistcoat. White shirt with wing or turndown collar. Trousers in same fabric as coat. White or black tie.
Suit fabric at this time was very heavy – 20oz wool, which is closer to today’s coating wool weight.
1900s – Informal Dress Dinner jacket in black wool. Peaked collar adapted from full dress. Black waistcoat. White shirt with turndown or wing collar. Trousers in same wool as coat, with military braid on outseam. Black tie.
1910s – Full Dress Black coat, peaked lapels with silk facing to edges. White double or single breasted waistcoat in silk pique. White wing-collar shirt. Black trousers in same wool as coat, with military braid on outseam. White tie. Top Hat. Style is considerably more fitted than previous decade. Lapel flowers common. 49
1910s – Informal Dress Black coat, peaked lapels faced with silk. Black waistcoat. White shirt with wing or turndown collar. Black trousers in same wool as coat, with military braid on outseam. Black tie. Style is very similar to previous decade’s informal fashion, but more fitted.
1920s – Full Dress Black or midnight blue coat with peaked lapels faced to the edge with silk. Lapels become wider than in previous decade. White double or single breasted waistcoat in silk pique. White shirt with wing collar. Soft shirts come into fashion. Trousers in same wool as coat, military style braid on outseam. More relaxed than previous decade. White tie. Top Hat.
1920s – Informal Dress
1930s – Full Dress
Black or midnight blue coat with wide peaked lapels faced to edge with silk. Double or single breasted. Black U-shaped waistcoat. Backless styles come into fashion. White shirt with wing or turndown collar. Trousers in same wool as coat with military style braid on outseam. Black tie. Dinner jacket surpasses full dress as the style of choice for evening wear, and becomes the standard for evening attire.
Black or midnight blue coat with peaked lapels faced to edge with silk. White waistcoat with narrow V-shaped front opening. White shirt with wing collar. Trousers in same fabric as coat. White tie.
1930s – Semi-formal Black, midnight blue, or white coat with peaked or shawl collar faced with silk the same color as jacket. Double or single breasted. Waistcoat of the same material as jacket. Cummerbunds worn with white dinner jacket. Soft white shirt with wing or turndown collar. Black trousers in suit or tropical weight wool. Black tie. 50
Jazz Age Sunday Social 51
The Jazz Age Sunday Social has only been running three short years, but it has already become a local favorite springtime event. With period Teens and 1920s music from a live, local Jazz band, period costume, games, and food, itâ€™s hard not to love this event! A few of our members attended this yearâ€™s Social and have generously sent some pictures to share with the rest of the Guild.
The 5 Annual Francaise Dinner by Beth Klimek 55
There are some costume events that truly make you feel as though you’ve stepped out of modern times and into the past. The Francaise Dinner is one such event, and if you like 18th century clothing it should definitely be on your bucket list. This year’s venue, Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, VA, was the perfect setting. It’s located in a charmingly historic area of downtown Alexandria where the sidewalks are brick and the architecture of old is allowed to shine. The building housing Gadsby’s was built in 1785, and George Washington himself is said to have enjoyed a meal there.
The private dining room was an excellent backdrop for the lovely 18 th century gowns that filled it. The ladies were decked out in splendid silks and glittering jewels, and no details were overlooked. From the top of their elaborate hairstyles to the sparkling buckles on their shoes, every element was carefully planned and executed spectacularly. The attire was not limited to robes a la francaise, as the dinnerâ€™s name might imply. Any and all fabulous Georgian gowns were welcomed! The ladies werenâ€™t the only ones dressed to the nines â€“ the gents all looked sharp in their waistcoats and breeches. 58
The tables were lit by candlelight, and the delicious meal was served in three courses. After dinner, there was a raffle for beautiful 18th century prizes donated by attendees and well-known vendors of historical costuming items. Several local vendors brought wonderful items to sell, including ribbons, jewelry, muffs, fabric, and tea. Even after all that excitement, there was still plenty of time to socialize and admire the amazing gowns and accessories. As the evening came to a close, I found myself wishing for just a little more time to spend in the â€˜past.â€™
Cinderella the Ballet at Bass Hall
The Guild has made several wonderful trips to Bass Hall, and our visit to see Cinderella was equally as grand. The Texas Ballet Theater was excited to have us return for one of their shows, and they were as welcoming and kind as they had been in the past.
Bass Hall was packed for another fabulous performance by the Texas Ballet Theater, and we had to navigate some heavy crowds to make it to the Will Call office to pick up our tickets. Many of the patrons were asking for our photos along the way, especially little girls that wanted their pictures with â€œthe princessesâ€?.
stepsisters make Cinderellaâ€™s life as difficult as they possibly can for the first act of the ballet. But when a strange crone comes to the door, the stepsisters and stepmother want nothing to do with the uninvited guest. Cinderella treats the old woman kindly before the stranger disappears again.
The show starts with Cinderella in the kitchen, where she is being harassed by her stepsisters, who were played by two hilarious male dancers who did an excellent job of making the stepsisters as awkward and ugly as possible. The
Then news of the ball arrives! Dressers, wig makers, musicians, and dance tutors all arrive at the house to try and ready the hopelessly uncoordinated stepsisters. Cinderella is left out of all of the festivities, of course, and when all
the bustle dies down and sheâ€™s left alone again, the crone reappears. Cinderella is kind to her again, and in a puff of pyrotechnics and glitter, the crone transforms into her fairy godmother. Cinderella puts on the croneâ€™s cloak and is whisked away to a fairyland, where different faeries for each season dance and perform magic for her. At the end, there is another transformation, and Cinderellaâ€™s rags turn into a sparkling pink gown. The pumpkin carriage arrives on stage, and
she is whisked away to the ball. The second act was the Ball itself, with dancing courtiers and the prince all performing. The stepsisters are given a chance to exhibit their newly learned dance steps, and they stomp and clomp their way across the stage. Cinderella arrives and the Prince instantly falls in love. They share a duet before the bell strikes midnight, and Cinderella is forced to flee before the spell is broken. The third act of the play is the 64
traditional end to the story â€“ the court officials come to Cinderellaâ€™s home, and the entire household tries on the glass slipper. The stepsisters are again the highlight, as they attempt to fool the court officials into thinking the shoe belongs to them. They made a hilarious spectacle of themselves as they flopped around on the floor trying to get the shoe to fit and got the court officials to try and force the shoe onto their feet! Cinderella finally tries on the slipper, and she and the Prince dance away together. The final scene is their wedding, where they are crowned king and queen of the realm by the faeries.
The Guild had a great turnout for the event. We had several newcomers join us for the ballet, as well as some returning new members. The Texas Ballet theater was once again very welcoming and eager to have us visit them. Even the ticket agent who sold us our group purchase was excited for us to come in costume. Every time we have visited the ballet for an event, they have been incredibly warm and enthusiastic about our costuming for their shows, and it is heartwarming to know that we will be able to look
forward to the same reception during future visits. I certainly canâ€™t wait to attend the ballet in costume again!
Photos of the ballet are courtesy of the Texas Ballet Theatre website.
Costume Showcase 1880s Bustle Day Dress Costumer: Dixie Davis Website: http://dixiediy.com/ DFWCG member Dixie Davis recently created a stunning 1880s day ensemble to wear to our Caillebotte outing. We asked her to tell us a bit about creating this memorable gown.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE DRESS.
My dress is a late 1880s ensemble made to wear at the Caillebotte exhibit. This was my first time sewing a bustle costume so I had to sew the bustle, petticoat, underskirt, overskirt, bodice and bonnet all at once. The main fabric is sadly not wool - itâ€™s some kind of poly blend - but the velvet is silk and so is the blue fabric on the bonnet. Itâ€™s mostly machine sewn but all the hems and details like the buttonholes are done by hand.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE DESIGN? I started with a bunch of patterns from Truly Victorian but made several alterations to mimic a silk faille dress I found online (left). I changed the front of the Truly Victorian Alexandra Bodice to have a half vest with faux ruffled shirt underneath and added velvet cuffs and lapels. The original dress has huge buttons on the vest. I tried to find something with the same feel. The original also has chunky velvet stripes on one side of the skirt so I copied that design on my dress. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE GOWN? About 4 weeks of consistent sewing. I only bought the main dress fabric about 3 weeks before the event and the velvet didn’t even arrive until a week before the event! WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE OUTFIT? I love the hourglass shape (this is my first late Victorian design) and the pop of orange-red velvet on the skirt. I especially like how well the bonnet turned out. It’s a Lynn McMasters pattern that I completed in an evening. It’s just so cute! 68
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF THE DESIGN? I struggled with staying within my budget (costumes can get so expensive and I didnâ€™t have a lot of cash I could dedicate to this dress) and completing the outfit in such a short amount of time.
Calendar of Events 23 April
Battle of San Jacinto 180th anniversary reenactment San Jacinto, Texas All Day Free
Georgian Dinner Sweet Basil Restaurant Dallas, Texas 7PM
Costumersâ€™ Lost Weekend June 10-12 Crossroads Retreat Center Lindale, Texas
We would like to thank all of our readers for their support We look forward to bringing you our Summer Issue in July
Dixie Davis Sandi Dreer Caitlin Hebert Steve Hebert Beth Klimek Megan Martin
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For the most up to date information on Guild events, and other costume events in DFW, please visit our website at DFWCG.org.
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 email@example.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.
Dallas-Fort Worth Costumers Guild Magazine
The Spring Issue of Dallas-Fort Worth Costumers Guild Magazine Newsletter