Book a Fashion Program

The Sewphisticate offers a variety of educational and entertaining programs about historical fashion for both online and in-person audiences!  Envisioning something other than below? - feel free to contact us about custom historical interpretation & fashion experiences.  Thank you for looking - and hope to hear from you & your organization soon! ❤

To book your program today, email: (for serious inquiries only, please)

Historical "Getting Dressed" Programs 

These historical get-ready-with-me fashion programs offer an exclusive look at the many layers that ladies were wearing in the 19th century.  Anneliese will discuss the lengths it took to be fashionable, while getting dressed in real time in a historical reproduction ensemble, complete with the proper undergarments, day dress, and accessories.  

Choose one from the following time periods currently available for show: 
  • Jane Austen's Regency Era, early 1810s
  • Transitional Fashions, mid-late 1820s 
  • Romantic Era, early 1830s 
  • Mid-19th century or Civil War Era, 1860s (see example ensemble & video below)
  • Late-Bustle, mid 1880s

Format:  The historical "getting dressed" programs are a hybrid talk with live model dressing, and are only offered in-person at the present.  Organizers will be asked to provide a table for displaying items, and Anneliese will bring and set up everything else.  Presentations typically run 1 hour, with time for questions at the end. 

Recommended audiences:  age 12+ (program may be long for young children), but all ages welcome.  This is a fun program for historical societies and sites, libraries, and museums; and will provide entertainment for tea parties, reenactments/historical events, afternoons, and evenings.  

Fashion & History Talks

Lecture topics include the following:
  • Chinese American experience, in the years before and during the Exclusion Era 
  • Chinese participation in the American Civil War
  • Orientalism in Euro-American Fashion
Exotic fashions from the faraway East have delighted and defined style and luxury in the West for centuries.  This presentation explores the complex, cross-cultural borrowing and imitation that is “Orientalism,” and reveals how Eastern cultures became European and American commodities.  From Indian cashmere and the Paisley pattern, to Chinese silks and brisé fans, discussion will feature select articles of clothing, accessories, and textiles with Asian and Middle Eastern origins. 

 Other fashion history talks:

  • Timeline of 19th century fashions, 1800-1890s
  • In-depth looks at the following time periods, option to choose one from list:  Regency fashions (1800s - 1820s);  Romantic Era (1830s);  mid-19th century (1840s - 1860s);  Civil War fashions (1861 - 1865);  Bustle Era (1870s - 1890) 
Format:  All fashion & history lectures include a slide presentation and talk, lasting 60 - 90 minutes, with a Q&A session following.  Options for in-person or online presentation (via zoom); organizers are responsible for setting up digital platform of choice, or providing screen projector, cables (speaker can bring laptop), and microphone. 

Recommended audiences:  adults, due to history not always being pretty

Children's & Family Programs 

"Fashion Fun" Summer Camp at GCV&M

19th century fashions - offering either in-person or virtual versions of the "getting dressed" programs or fashion history talks (options include the timeline or specific time periods, listed above).  Each program can be customized to a specific age group. 
  • Programs for in-person learning will include a "touch table" of reproduction historical clothing, and/or a live dressing of a mannequin 
  • Add-ons for in-person learning can include a "paper doll" or "design a dress" activity.  (Organizers will be given a supply list - coloring materials, glue sticks, scissors, paper, etc. - and all print-outs in advance). 
  • Virtual programs will include an interactive slide presentation and Q&A session with a costumed interpreter 
Recommended audiences:  grades 1st - 8th for in-person; high school (9th - 12th) for in-person and virtual.  These 1 hour programs can be adapted for public schools, homeschool groups, girl scouts; libraries, historical societies, and museums looking to enhance family programming. 

“That Chinese Girl”: How Mamie Tape Won the Right to Go to School

A 1 hourvirtual presentation with guided student discussion and journal activity, featuring topics of Chinese-American history in the Exclusion Era, resistance, and rights to education.  

Students will learn about the lives of Joseph and Mary Tape, who were Chinese immigrants living in San Francisco; as well as the struggles of their daughter, Mamie Tape, in getting to attend a public school in 1884.  Referred to as “that Chinese girl” in the newspapers, Mamie Tape’s perseverance, and the winning decision in the Tape v. Hurley (1885) case, made history in the rights of all children to public education.  Several primary sources, including court documents, a letter from Mrs. Tape, and photographs of the family, will be used to explore how the Chinese community fought for their civil rights and equality

Recommended audiences:  grades 4th - 8th, depending on curriculum 

Custom Fashion History Experiences

Looking for something not described above?  Contact the Sewphisticate to build your custom historical fashion talk or program today! 

Past examples include:
  • Costumed greeter for your historical society event, business open house, or holiday program
  • Fashion display (using reproduction clothing) with historical interpretation, engaging event guests in conversations about the garments on display 
  • Living history interpretation of dressmaking - setting up a shop (or space) and interpreting early or mid-19th century dressmaking trade 
  • Historical timeline fashion show (requires additional mannequins or models, to be pre-arranged with organizers or site) 

"All Dressed in Red" Fashion Show at GCV&M

How to Book the Sewphisticate

Thank you for your interest, and I can't wait to begin building a program with you! 

For pricing:  I work on a sliding scale, and like to support non-profit and volunteer organizations!  For the most accurate quote, please provide any information regarding ticketing, expected attendance, and location (for in-person events).  In addition to speaker fees, additional travel expenses may apply. 

For current and future openings, or additional information, please contact Anneliese at: 

Please include in your message: name of the organizer/site information, program of interest, potential date(s), and any other relevant information.  Priority will be given to those who I have worked with in the past, or come on referral.  Spam will be deleted without reply.  

Looking forward to hearing from you! ❤

Upcoming Events in 2023 

  • “Fashion in Flux: Transitional Fashions of the 1820s: A Historical Get-Ready-with-Me” for the John L. Wehle Gallery 
  • AASLH (American Association of State and Local History) annual conference, (Boise, ID)
  • "Getting Dressed in 1823" for the Newstead Bicentennial, hosted by the Newstead Historical Society
  • "Getting Dressed in the 1860s" - Sanborn Area Historical Society 
  • TBD fashion presentation - Wilson Historical Society 

  • Virtual program for Corsets & Cravats: "Striking Rich in the Land of Exclusion: Chinese American Experience, 1830-1900"

For more information on Anneliese's programming, including past conference lectures, museum and historical society partnerships, and publications, please see: Programming & Partnerships 

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