Colonial Williamsburg: Accessories Head to Toe, or the Costume History Blogger Convention Part III

Today, I will not be doing a grand summary of the crap load of information that was hurled at me today. My brain hurts and I still need to work on my presentation.

But here are some few points:

Dr. Ann Bissonnette's paper titled "Off with Their Wigs! Traditions and Revolutions in Hairstyles, 1748–1804" was BRILLIANT!!!!! Very interesting information about how wigs and hairstyles of men (first) and women (later) were heavily influenced by Greco Roman hairstyles (specifically Flavian) even before the dress. Architecture and hair...go figure. Also, interesting discussion about the French being influenced by their colonies in the south and resulting Afro influenced styles (hedgehogs...frizzy it?) It was fascinating. Very Very Good.

Robin Kipps (Apothecary at Colonial Williamsburg) also did a great talk about health and fashion, including some costume reconstructions by the millinery, including an 18th century straight jacket.

Susan North presented again about clean linens vs flannel and health in the early 19th century.

Cynthia Cooper did a great presentation about shawls, scarves, and sashes from late 18th to late 19th century. It was really interesting and mostly focused on Kashmiri shawls, Chinese Crepe Shawls and Roman Shashes. Loved. It.

Finally, Janea Whitacre and everyone from the Millinery and other helpers (sadly I didn't realize they were doing something like this and didn't volunteer my body for dressing up...sadness.) did a fashion show/paper about the history of Millinery from mid 18th century to about 1840 (right before Millinery got screwed over by the sewing machine). It was clothing heaven as there were great 19th century pieces and hats hats everywhere.  (Sorry for the short info Beth, it was very dense and I was very distracted by taking pictures, please forgive me...hope your flight went well!)

Here are some pictures:

Janea giving her presentation with a great hat.

A Mantua of early 18th century/late 17th century

Cutest baby ever in a pudding cap

Singing a song about Calashes, the newest style.

Adding jewelry to the full dress.
I want this outfit. 1805-10 ish.

I thought you'd all like this....

That's it for now. I have more pictures and things to discuss, but I'm just really pooped. Tomorrow is fairly quiet. I have to be at the museum at 9 to upload my final powerpoint and then at 11 I have a tour of the Textile Conservation Studio, and then the afternoon off. This will be spent working on my presentation.

But one thing:

I just have to say, I have met some of the kindest and interesting people over the past two days. A lot of them, are my age. I hope this means, that costume history will continue to grow and gain respect withing the art history and history communities. The research being done and the conversations being had are riveting and wonderful.

So, anyways, I just want to take a minute to say hi to all you wonderful people!


Howdy! :)

<3 <3

*Costumes shown were constructed by the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop of Colonial Williamsburg.


  1. I think history is safe in the hands of our generation and those to come! I was always baffled by my grandmother's complete lack of interest in old things, but I find people nowadays are much more enthusiastic about antiques, vintage items, the stories of the past.

    Also, did I mention I WANT TO BE THERE!!! Yes, I think I did. I'm so green with envy! I know I shoulda just thrown caution to the wind and hopped a plane to come out, costumes or no. Next time :-\

  2. I agree, the amount of young people at this conference is really impressive, and really exciting.

    I hope the blogging that is going on (cause this is also a blogging convention, I've decided) has helped you feel like you're actually here! :) I know it's not as good as the real thing. Hopefully CW will do something again in the next few years. :) THEN you can come!!

  3. I do love all the blogging! Whatever the next conference is, maybe I will get to come and be one of those on-site reporters :-D

  4. Thanks for the posts! I have friends at the conference, and can't wait to pick their brains when I see them next!

    Love the pudding cap! I'm impressed it stayed on the baby--every baby I've known manages to wriggle out of the darn thing before you have a chance for an adorable photo op.

  5. Ooooooh...I want to be there! I want to wear pretty dresses and see pretty dress and meet people like you IRL and get to hear fabulous insightful talks!

    I'm soooooooo jealous! Also very, very grateful that you are blogging so that I can at least see a glimpse of it.


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