Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Re-creating and Collecting

Collections:  It was exposure to museum collections in Britain, Europe, the USA and here at home that I nurtured my interest in the textile arts.  My desire to learn more about the topic led me to the Costume Society of Ontario in the early 1990's.  Among like minded individuals, my curiosity and understanding of the importance of textile conservation and preservation was developed.
                                          CSO tour to U.K.  Winchester lecture, 1997
Museum collections have proven to be valuable in many ways. Through careful observation, drawing and note taking, I am able to better execute an authentic reproduction or even copy the original with some degree of accuracy.  Colours and trims, seam placements and darts do not go unnoticed.  These details have the ability to take your creation to the next level.  These careful observations can also be applied to more contemporary projects.  The skills of the needle worker of yesterday have gone far to inspire my own work.  I choose not to copy existing garments, but rather to be inspired by them.  In this way I can bring my own creative talents forward, while remaining somewhat in the past.

Recollections:  Eventually, like many of the members I began to re-create and eventually to collect.  The decision to collect is not an easy one, nor should it be taken lightly.  Apart from the costs associated with acquisition, their is always the problem of storage and preservation.  An on going battle between the desire to display and preserve makes for some hard decisions.  Luckily for me, I don't have a mannequin small enough for the former, so the later is naturally taking care of itself.

                                                        1898 silk damask ball gown.  Purchased from Ebay.  Authors collection

Apart from my own small collection, I have had the privilege to view the collections of fellow CSO members.  I have even loaned pieces to the Toronto Historical Society for exhibitions at Spadina House.

Ambitions:  The dress below I created with references from several sources.
                                          Silk dress made by author.  Based on 1825
References below for my re-creation.  How successful was I?
Ackermann's Repository, 1825
Galleria del Costume, Pitti Palace, Florence
Pattern Sketch

No comments:

Post a Comment