Wow, it’s like I fell into a wormhole that was directed away from this blog filled work and travel. I worked on a few new musicals. One large musical called EMPIRE based on the building of the Empire State Building. It’s sweet. Research for another musical, ANASTASIA that just recently opened. I spent more time in New York this winter working on a musical called NERDS set in the 1970-1990s that wound up being abandoned by producers. Then I had some post show blues. Luckily, I had a trip to England planed with my family where I did some research at the Fashion Museum, in Bath. But I have fallen out of the habit and I’m trying to get this blog back on track.
1920s Paris had a fashion magazine called Tres Parisien. It's lovely and one of my favorites that I have newly collected into my research archives.
I love doing research and one of my favorite things is being able to touch the pages of older works. Here’s a video of the velum of the Tres Parisien pages.
Here are a few wonderful images from the Tres Parisien publication in the 1920s.
Tres Parisien continued on into the 1930s before it was discontinued. They also branched out into a publication that was dedicated to hats in the late 1920s. I look forward to blogging regularly again and sharing some of those with you.
I’m working on an enormous research project at the moment. It’s been all about Russia between 1903-1923. I’ve been gathering research from peasants to uniforms to the Czar and his family.
One of the more fun images I found, that does not pertain to the show I’m working on, is this photo of the Russian Navy’s diving school from 1913 in Kronstadt. They are performing exercises in a pool using the latest technology in rebreathing suits. While the suits are a lot of fun, they don’t look like they are atmospheric diving suits (ADS). The rebreathing suits would be able to go too deeply into the water like ADS.
The suits are so great looking that I needed to see some other suit designs.
Here is a photo of two men wearing a rebreather for escape purposes from a submarine for the Royal Navy in 1908. This suit also cannot be submerged very deep, but they can rescue others if something were to happen. Not a very large viewing area for a search and rescue.
Here is a photo of Chester E. Macduffee with his atmospheric diving suit from 1914. It weighed 250 kilos/550 lbs. and could reach a water depth of 65 meter/213 feet in 1915. The suit looks a little more like the robot from Lost In Space. This was the first suit with ball bearings to help with joint movement.
I don't just research historical apparel for costume designers. I also research the future. I went to Maker Faire over the weekend. I went to several talks, but two of the best on fashion were Danit Peleg's talk on 3D printing an entire fashion collection. I've some 3D printed clothing in the past few years, but this was some of the best. It had bounce and buoyancy as well as a lacy quality. Danit also printed her shoes and accessories. The photo is of 3 of Danit's garments she had on models the day of her talk. Danit is from Tel Aviv and is doing a world tour on her 3D printed fashions.
The second amazing talk during my Maker Faire weekend, was from Amanda Parkes. Amanda is a biomedia designer and fashion technologist working on the new model for fashion, fabrication, and research. Amanda talked about fashion beyond lighting up with LEDs and smart watches. Clothing of the future might be where your whole garment is made up with battery fibers that can charge your devices. The fibers get recharged in the washing of the garment. Amanda also talked about the future of biological clothing. Garments that are made of lab built proteins. The possibility of funeral garments, instead of embalming fluid, that return your body to natural dirt state by using the fungus of mushrooms. Amanda's company is Skinteractive Studios, and it is the most excited I've be about the future of fashion in a long time.
Everyone is going to want one! The state of New York employed prisoners to manufacture goods. This prison restraint sheet is one of the prison-made items in their catalog for purchase in 1910. It's quite expensive at $10. They also have a drawing of the back of the restraint sheet and how it's worn in bed.
Other items you could purchase from the prison system are sheets, men and women's undergarments, uniforms for nurses and doctors, children's rompers, hats, furniture- chairs, desks, wardrobes, chiffoniers, beds, baskets. It's almost a Sears catalog.
I love umbrellas! I loved finding these sketches of umbrellas from the 1725-1774 Histoire Du Costume book.
Here is a page from the 1643-1678 Histoire Du Costume book that I was able to scan. It shows some fabulous men's boots and shoes sketches with many details.
Maternity wear from 1915 for the stylish lady.Read More
The cover of one of the costume history books. They have ties to keep the book closed and they have color plates in the back of each book.Read More