Do you have any recommendations for books about clothing history? (I’ll accept recs for pretty much anything about historical clothing, textiles etc, but something that has info about garment construction would be stellar!)
Why the fuck is River Song wearing an 1880s dress when she says she just came from ice skating in 1814?
I find it hard to articulate the sheer excitement I get from historical clothing. I say this as a casual novice who mostly just lurks and stares at collections, skimming descriptions and being psyched out of my mind when I recognize patterns, eras, designs. In the overwhelming wealth of history and culture behind, the intertwining stories that influence the costumes, it’s exhiliarating to do so much as point out the shape of a bodice, recognize a silhouette and assign an era to it, to identify techniques and materials and have words for all of these now-obsolete garments. It’s like making order out of chaos. I know it was never chaos to start with, but that’s how it was in my mind years ago; all of the styles of dressing that came before my time were once clumped very lazily into scattered chunks: The Retro, The “Olden Days” (17-1800s), the nebulous middle-ages, the ancient world (consisting only of egypt and greece and some fuzzy generic culture I had filed away as ‘biblical’)
As much as I try to assign an exact origin and motive for this excitement, I still can’t exactly place why I look at some blogs, websites, books and am filled with this uncontainable urge to SQUEE. To point at the beautiful pictures and shout “LOOK AT THIS!” to anyone. It’s not just the fantasy of decorating myself with these beautiful things. It’s the thrill of making sense of these beautiful trends and creations, reading the stories and sensing patterns. Yes, there is an ‘order out of chaos’ element. The changing of silhouettes is not merely a pointless occurrence on a timeline; it’s deeply tied into the political and social changes of the times. The colors of fabrics aren’t just pretty to look at, they’re incidental with revolutionary technologies- the use of new dyes and techniques. The way demand for certain fashions, certain fashion resources, influence economies, foster cultural exchange, start wars, stoke revolutions.
God, I love this. I am so pumped to know more. I am so intimidated and yet out-of-my-mind excited by the seemingly limitless information available! Why wouldn’t anyone love this?