Thursday, August 10, 2017

CoBloWriMo Day 10 - Visual Source

I've always considered myself a visual, hands-on type of person - I work best when I can see something and then teach myself how to create it. I love learning, and while traditional education worked for me (I work in a public school, for heaven's sake!), it's not as natural a way to learn for me. When it comes to costuming, written descriptions of gowns, sewing techniques, or construction notes just don't do much for me. I rely on the things I can see.

To that end, though many extant garments exist, I prefer to draw my inspiration from fashion plates and my very favorite source is the University of Washington Fashion Plate Collection. They have fashion plates ranging from 1806 to 1913, carefully scanned and catalogued online. It's a fabulous collection - the result of 30 years of preservation and research done by a former faculty member - and my first stop whenever I need inspiration.

Some of the plates I've saved to Pinterest

Pinterest is great, but Pinterest will never replace an excellent direct source archive and this one has been inspiring me since I first started branching out into 19th century costuming. 

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