Welcome to the About Us section! To give you a quick glimpse of the world behind the website, let us tell you about our history, paint a picture of our workrooms and go into the detail behind our projects.
We’ve been studying 18th C costume since 2011 and we still have more questions than answers! However, it is the drive to understand the world of 18th century costume for ourselves that has fuelled the passsion for this company. How did Stays work? In what order did the 18th c. lady get dressed? Why are most of the inside work of these gowns messy and strange? These may all sound like light and easy questions but they are seriously not and the research into answering them is always ongoing. Our thinking was if we wanted to know, maybe others did too.
Our first study session was at the Bath Fashion Museum and stemmed from when we were doing a tour of the Costume section downstairs. We had heard on the earphones that the museum had stores of gowns that could be requested to be looked at. We went home and wrote an email that night. That was back in 2012 and over 86 study sessions later, we’re still going strong.
Our research often takes shape in the form of ‘Projects’. This is when we fall down the metaphorical Rabbit hole and live a whole world of Stays, or Mantuas, or 1760s sack backs – whatever it is we’ve stumbled into. We’ve not figured out what the trigger is yet but it seems it can start with an innocent enough sounding question like “I wonder if….”
One of the very first projects we found ourselves embroiled in was the Construction of Stays. This started off as mere curiosity about whether or not some of the curvatures were enhanced on the inside by Pad stitching (a technique used by tailors to shape the collars and lapels). We can happily and conclusively say it is not, but it kicked off A) a love for Stays and B) a serious in-depth look into their construction and a rather large Comparison table. It’s a project that is still on-going. But what’s most important about understanding Stays is that you are understanding the very basis of the gown! This too has helped us focus on creating displays and costumes that structure on the stays themselves, and help create that real and solid feel to the costume.
Click here to take a look at some of the Projects we’re currently involved in:
- The Mantua Project
- The Stays Project
- 1760s Sack Backs
For many years we’ve worked from a tiny living room space. The television was kicked out and the sofas replaced with shelving of fabric and a cutting table. We are now in a nice, light, and breezy workroom, overlooking the river in our pretty home town of Bude.
We’ve currently got plans to expand into a back room as The Mantua Project that we are involved in has some rather large petticoats and we are getting tired stepping round them all the time. Watch out for some exciting photos of our new workroom.