September 8, 2020

Online Conference - Costume On 2: Tailored

It is with the greatest pleasure that I can now announce I will be speaking at Costume On 2: Tailored, an online conference for historical costuming! 

For more information, please visit their website:
Also find the Facebook page: Costume On

Costume On was created with the quarantine in mind, connecting costumers from all over the world for a weekend of online seminars and workshops.  With topics spanning fashion history and techniques from the 17th through the 20th centuries (and beyond), there is sure to be a class for everyone.  Following the success of their first conference, which was held back in the Spring, this upcoming, Fall conference - Costume On 2: Tailored - is scheduled for Saturday, September 19th and Sunday the 20th, 2020.  

As the name suggests, the theme of this second Costume On conference is "Tailored," with an emphasis on historical menswear and tailoring.  Conquer fitting, patterning, and drafting techniques, create period gifts for the men (or women) in your circles, and learn about the lives of every-day and extraordinary men who shaped history - all from the comforts of your own home!  Classes are all taught live, and sign up is √† la carte.  You choose which lectures and workshops you'd like to attend, and pay the teacher per session.  Whether you take one class, two, or more - as the website reads, you're attendance directly supports independent artists!

There's an incredible variety of offerings, so please see the website for the full listing and schedule for classes, here: Costume On 2: Tailored - List of Classes.  Some sessions run concurrently, so keep that in mind as you register.

Here's a snap shot of the list from their website:

Register for classes, here: Costume On 2: Tailored - List of Classes

And, as I announced above, I will be teaching two classes!  I'm so excited to be making my debut into public speaking, and thank the Costume On organizers for the opportunity to present on the following topics related to menswear:

If the Coat Fits: Chinese Soldiers in the American Civil War

Session time: Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11am EST.

This presentation has been several years in the making, and I'm thrilled to have the chance to combine new research on the early Chinese-American experience with updated information on Civil War participation.  Since writing a guest blog post and article on the topic for the Genesee Country Village & Museum in 2017, interest in the topic has only grown.  Researchers in the field have continued making new discoveries, fueling my own desires to tell the untold stories, and in doing so, honoring my Chinese and American heritages. 

At this Costume On 2, you'll have the chance to hear this unique narrative, some for the very first time, and to reflect on the stories within your own history and experience that deserve to be remembered.

Class Description:  

If the coat fits, wear it – and the Chinese men who volunteered to serve in the Civil War did, fighting for a country that would later discriminate, exploit, exclude, and all but forget their remarkable contributions to the culture and creation of the United States.  This presentation explores the Chinese-American experience, and tells the stories of individuals from both sides of the war, on land and at sea.

Period attitudes and depictions will be referenced, and may contrast with the successful people they were then, and continue to be today.  The goal is two-fold: to highlight an untold history, and to inspire participants to draw from personal experience and other, unique perspectives when developing costumed impressions for historical reenactments and events.

This is a 90-minute lecture with a shared slide presentation.  Time will be set aside for further questions and discussion at the end.  Registration remains OPEN until September 18, 2020.

Orientalism: Western Taste for Eastern Fashion

Session time: Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 6pm EST.

Born of an interest in Chinoiserie and love of complicated dramas - in this case, the complexities of cultural exchange in fashion and decorative arts, entwined with centuries of imperialism, politics, economics, and copy-cats - this talk presents my latest research horizons.  "Orientalism" is only an introduction to the topic, offering an in-depth overview of the centuries of assimilation and appropriation through which menswear, as we in the Western world are familiar, originated:

Class Description: 

From Indian chintz prints and banyans, to Chinese silks and bris√© fans, and Turkish smoking jackets complete with tasseled caps, the fashions of the East have enchanted the West for centuries.  This presentation chronicles the complex, cross-cultural borrowing and imitation that is “Orientalism,” with an emphasis on the textiles, garments, and accessories that have shaped menswear from the late-16th through 19th centuries.

Select examples of historic portraiture, fashion plates, and extant garments from museum collections will accompany the discussion, and help the modern costumer navigate the divide between cultural appreciation and appropriation.

This is a 90-minute lecture with a shared slide presentation and time set aside for further questions and discussion at the end.  Registration will remain OPEN until September 19, 2020.  

Did something catch your eye?  I sure hope you'll consider signing up for a class or two during Costume On 2: Tailored!  With such a variety of offerings - live lectures, hands-on workshops, and behind-the-scenes tours of museums - there's something for everyone!

Alright, it's back to research for me...see you in two weeks! 

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