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Historic English Costumes and How to Make Them

Historic English Costumes and How to Make Them

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Historic English Costumes and How to Make Them

ratings:
2/5 (3 ratings)
Length:
407 pages
1 hour
Released:
Sep 6, 2012
ISBN:
9780486136356
Format:
Book

Description

As an early-twentieth-century English artist with an interest in historical subjects, Talbot Hughes began collecting clothing for accuracy in his paintings—and the pursuit grew into a labor of love. His magnificent costume collection was eventually displayed in Harrod's and has become a permanent part of the collection of the venerable Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In this well-researched guide, Hughes traces the evolution of English fashions from the grass-cloth wraps of prehistoric times to the luxurious gowns of the Victorian era.
Arranged chronologically and by British reigns, this splendid compilation includes over 300 illustrations of period fashions for men and women and 94 photos of historic garments. Pictured are tunics and tights from the thirteenth century, Elizabethan gowns with starched ruff collars, Charles I cavaliers with lace-collared jackets and breeches, a five-century array of boots and shoes, an assortment of elaborate wigs, embroidered waistcoats, quilted petticoats, plumed headdresses, and other dashing designs of the past. More than a history of British style, it's also a dressmaker's delight, with scaled-down patterns for 67 authentic costumes—and a perfect reference for fashion designers, stylists, and historians.
Released:
Sep 6, 2012
ISBN:
9780486136356
Format:
Book

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Historic English Costumes and How to Make Them - Talbot Hughes

118

INTRODUCTION

THE subject of Historical Costume covers such a multitude of detail that a volume on each century could be written, with hundreds of illustrations. Thus it is, most works on costume are expensive and bewildering; but I hope this small practical handbook will be a useful addition to the many beautifully illustrated works which already exist.

I have divided the matter into centuries and reigns, as far as possible, in this small work, besides separating male and female attire, thus simplifying reference. A special feature has also been made, of supplying the maker or designer of dress with actual proportions and patterns, gleaned from antique dresses, as far back as they could be obtained; and I am much indebted to the authorities at the Victoria and Albert Museum for the permission given me to examine and measure their unique specimens; also to Mr. Wade, Mr. G. G. Kilburn, Mr. Duffield, Mr. Box Kingham, Mr. Hill, Mr. Breakespeare, and others, for their valuable assistance with interesting specimens. I have used outline drawings in the text, as being more clear for purposes of explanation. The dates given to the illustrations are to be taken as approximate to the time in which the style was worn. Many of the photographs have been arranged from my own costume collection, which has made so much of my research simple, reliable, and pleasant. I am also happy to state that before the final revision of this book I have heard that my collection of historical costumes and accessories will, after a preliminary exhibition at Messrs. Harrod’s, be presented to the Victoria and Albert Museum as a gift to the nation by the Directors of that firm. Thus the actual dresses shown in these plates will find a permanent home in London, and become valuable examples to students of costume. The coiffures in the collotype plates are not to be judged as examples, for it would have consumed far too much time to set up these figures more perfectly, but all the bonnets, caps, and accessories given are genuine examples.

In a book of this size, one cannot go into the designs of materials, &c., which is a study any earnest student would not neglect, but in this connection I would draw attention to the comparative colour density and proportion of designs chosen for various

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  • (2/5)
    Oh woe! I own over 131 books published by Dover, but my last few purchases have included some serious disappointments. This is one of them. Originally published in 1913 as Dress Design: An Account of Costume for Artists and Dressmakers and republished in 2009 as Historic English Costumes and How to Make Them, it contains a minimum of information on "how to make them"--which is the reason I bought it. According to the introduction, Talbot Hughes was a popular artist who painted historic scenes and began collecting historic clothing for his models to wear. Eventually he donated his collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Hughes, being an artist, included plenty of sketches, but there's no way of knowing whether he took them from period images or from models dressed in authentic clothing. He did take over 30 photographs, reproduced here as half-tones, of contemporary models wearing historic clothing, starting from the late 16th/early 17th century.It has about 65 pages dedicated to "Patterns to Scale". Rulers on each page are marked in inches. The scales vary from about 1:12 to 1:5 (the book itself measures only 5 3/8" X 8"). And the patterns are not schematics; they are sketches. There aren't any corset patterns. There is no information on constructing the garments (beyond basic alterations for size).Historic English Costumes and How to Make Them is probably best viewed as either a costume history book or as an addition to a costumer's library. (I am not a costumer; I just like to sew.) I would probably not have purchased this book if I had known that there was really very little information on how to make the clothes. I already have A History of Costume by Köhler. Given a choice between the two, I would buy the Köhler book, also published by Dover, and costing only a dollar more.