Historic Costume Talks
Create the Mood

1066 - 1930

Presentations are academic or 'after dinner' in character, and always amusing. Each one is individually designed to suit your audience be it adults, children, women-only or theatrical costumiers who wish to learn more about the reasons why things were like that then.

Original costume examples and replica items are shown and audience members are called upon to model items.

Readings from critics of the time bring the social habits of our forebears to life, providing touches of humour and insight into unusual aspects of European social history not normally covered in academic history syllabuses. Contemporary pictures of women, and original or reproduction clothes can be handed round. Slides are not shown unless requested. You know how it is - the room is warm, the curtains are drawn, you've just had lunch …

You may request a historical period/s or a clothing item or topic followed through time. Advice on how to construct bits of clothing and surface decoration can be included depending upon the audience.

General historical costuming topics such as:

Costume through the ages - the rich, the poor [one talk or a series, and/or exhibition]
Hats for Historical Heads
[talk and exhibition]
Embroidery on historical clothes
[and individual talks on specific eras]
Historic Jewellery - how to wear it and how to make it
[talk and/or practical workshop]
clothes worn when playing the Pipe and Tabor
Fancy dress, costume, or living history standard clothes
historical underwear, medieval to 1930's [one talk or a series:]
Frillies and Foundations
Things Relating to Stockings and Socks
Other Unmentionables
The Shape of Ladies through Time - corsets and all sorts of devices
Skirt Shapes - how strange they were

examples of Era Specific Presentations:

    Medieval Music, Instruments and Musicians Garb
    Medieval Women, their clothes, their lives
    Elizabethan Ladies - their curious clothes
    What Mrs Purcell Wore (1670 - 1690)

    Mr Garrick - The Theatre and Costume in his Lifetime (the 18th century)
    The Eighteenth Century Lady Gets Dressed
    The Pipe and Tabor in 18th century decorative arts

    Regency clothes - many myths exposed
    Regency clothes through satirical drawings
    How did Working Women manage?
    Jewellery and other Expensive Accessories
    folk-lore, the Pipe and Tabor and Regency music
    Regency Dresses - fabric and patterns (an indepth look)

    The Victorian Lady Gets Dressed for a Ball
    The evolution of Victorian fashion for the rich and the poor

    the shape of Victorian/Edwardian Women: one talk or a series:
    The Crinoline - the 1850' and 60's
    The Bustle - the 1870's and 80's
    The Naughty Nineties - big sleeves, little waists

    The Early 20th Century, up to 1930's


also talks on the history of the Pipe and Tabor

NB All talks in a series also stand on their own.

Appropriate live music on the pipe and tabor is generally included - this makes for a dramatic opening - and simple dance suitable for participants of all ages can end the presentation. The audience is encouraged to ask questions as they arise. Presentations last for one and a half-hours but can be for half an hour too. Groups of 10 or of 500 - no problem.

Costume exhibitions may be set up to complement a talk. In practical workshops specific costume items are made.

A talk or series of talks and workshops can be designed to be part of the day or weekend course.

Create the Mood is fully covered by Public Liability Insurance and relevant checks.

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last updated 2 April, 2013