Our Costume Detectives Study Days, led by Jenny Daniels and Isobel Auker, draw widely on items from our own ever expanding Resource Collection, and give participants the opportunity to explore garments in depth.
In our recent workshop in April a group of 22 members concentrated on the period between the two World Wars, from the exuberance of the 1920’s, the elegance of the 1930’s, to the restrictions of 1940’s economy.
The wide range of garments available for study included underwear, daywear, wedding dresses and ball gowns. Some could be tried on, others were fragile but could be investigated and researched.
None of our resources are deemed to be of museum quality, but we relish the joy of handling them freely, understanding how they are constructed, and imagining what they felt like when worn.
To begin the day Jenny gave an introduction to the social and historic background to the period. Members were free to choose and study items of their choice from those provided, and in spare moments investigate the array of visual material and samples displayed. After lunch Isobel presented a short talk on the development of knitwear during this era, from its use in functional underwear to its elevation to high fashion and individual creativity.
At the end of the day individual participants shared their discoveries, giving us all more insight into our unique resource collection.
Details of our next study days will be posted on our Events pages.
Caroline Whiting is a trustee of C&TA, an art historian and guide at Norwich's Norman Cathedral who is passionate about textiles as an art form, from medieval to modern.