Explore fashions of the 19th Century
Join us for our 2023 Virtual Lecture Series: Introduction to 19th-Century Western Fashion, led by curator Brandon Brooks!
This curator-led series offers beginner students an introductory overview of 19th-century Western fashions for men, women, and children. Each 2-hour module covers roughly 4 decades, beginning in the 1790s and ending just before WWI. Graduates of this complete course will be able to visually identify specific 19th-century fashion eras with their associated silhouettes. This course will educate students on 19th-century garment terminology, the structures and components of clothing, social traditions of dress, and the mechanics behind how 19th-century fashion and garments were created.
Register for both upcoming sessions, or pick and choose your area of interest!
Session 2: 1840 – 1869
Saturday, September 23 | 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Session 3: 1870 – 1900
Friday, December 8 | 12 – 2 p.m.
This curator-led three-part series offers students an introductory overview of 19th-century Western fashions for men, women, and children. Each 2-hour module covers roughly 4 decades, beginning in the 1790s and ending just before WWI. Graduates of this complete course will be able to visually identify specific 19th-century fashion eras with their associated silhouettes. This course will educate students on 19th-century garment terminology, the structures and components of clothing, social traditions of dress, and the mechanics behind how 19th-century fashion and garments were created. Graduates of the complete 3-part course will receive a certificate of completion.
This 3-part course was designed for the beginner student who has an interest in 19th-century fashion and would like to learn more. No previous knowledge of 19th-century fashion is needed to enjoy this class – the beginner is the ideal student! Students will receive a digital bibliography upon completion of each module. This digital bibliography will include source material lists, images of the garments and accessories presented, and images of the fashion plates and fashion periodicals used in this course. Digital access to the curator Brandon W. Brooks of GCV&M will also be made possible for interested students who may have additional questions, concerns, or recommendations. All ages 16+ are welcome.
Source material for this 3-part course consists of primary sources from the Susan Greene Costume Collection, as well as garments from sister institutions in and around Western New York State. Extant garments and accessories for men, women, and children, 19th-century imagery (Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, photography). Original fashion plates and fashion publications (The Workwoman’s Guide, Ladies Magazine – Godey’s Lady’s Book, Peterson’s Magazine, The Delineator, Ladies’ Home Journal).
The fashions and garments in this course may have content-related limitations. Many of the textile and garment source materials in this course originate from a largely white, middle-class American demographic, with only some working-class clothing, and wealthy fashionable garments. This course and the collections mission of GCV&M strive to expand its collection breadth to represent a more accurate tapestry of American fashion across the 19th century.
Session 2: 1840-1869
Saturday, September 23 | 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Explore the curriculum:
- Printing technologies of the mid-19th century
- Mass production and the industrial revolution
- Corset technology. Transformative scaffolding and understructures
- Achieving the silhouette: petticoats, crinolines, and crinolettes
- Bloomers, Dress Reform Movement, and Haudenosaunee women’s fashions
- Looking West – gender neutrality in clothing in Westward expansion
- 19th-century imagery. Inhabited clothing captured
- Romanticism, Nostalgia, Royal Emulation: Rococo and Tartan Mania
- Leisurewear enters the chat: the Sacque or “lounge” jacket
- Natural vs. synthetic aniline dyes
- Civil War’s effect on fashion
- Fashion travels
- Fashion Media and publications
Session 3: 1870-1910
Friday, December 8 | 12 - 2 p.m.
Explore the curriculum:
- See or be seen: Highly gendered fashions (ornament vs. agent)
- Post-War fashions rapidly changing
- Technology and the sewing machine at home
- Off-the-rack clothing & ready-to-wear: The American Department Store
- Two Bustle Eras: what are they and how are they different from one another?
- Tight-lacing, padding, and the illusion of proportions
- Gendering the bodies of children: Frocks, Breeching, and little adults
- Plume boom: ornament and environment
- Changing Underwear: athletics, health, and the Rational Dress Movement
- Garden Parties: The Lingerie and Lace Tape dress
- World War I & Lady’s fashion
- Entering 1920s: the death of complex lady’s fashion
Catch up by watching Session 1: 1790 - 1839
Recording available for purchase!
Did you miss the first session Virtual Lecture Series, which covers the years 1790 – 1839? Not to worry – it’s available for purchase online now!
Watch Session 1 to catch up, and then plan to join us for Session 2 on Saturday, September 23 and Session 3 on Friday, December 8!
General all-access ticket for three sessions: $90
Museum Member all-access ticket for three sessions: $80
General access to one lecture: $40
Museum Member access to one lecture: $35
Consider becoming a Museum Member today to enjoy discounted admission to this virtual lecture series, plus other benefits and perks for a whole year! Click here to learn more.
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