Friday, July 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: White House Historical Association Projects

As we mentioned before, we are about to start a huge project with the White House Historical Association.   There are actually three aspects to the project: adding to two programs we previously worked on with the Association, and creating a new one specific to the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

Over the past few years, Marilyn has been tasked with creating three different sets of costumes, two for interactive educational programs called First Kids and Paths to Freedom, respectively, and one for a special reenactment commemorating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. 

In First Kids, Elementary to Middle School-aged children learn various stories about children who lived in the White House, such as the time Teddy Roosevelt's son brought a horse all the way from the stables to the second floor of the White House in order to cheer up his sick brother.  Then the kids get to try on clothes from the period and reenact the stories they just heard.  Paths to Freedom is also an educational program, in which students recreate scenes around signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Our costumes needed to be historically accurate, yet easy to slip on and off and adjustable for any size child.  Easy, right?  Right!

Adding to the previous programs will be fairly straighforward.  We will add sizes and update numbers to meet the current needs of the programs.  In this vein, preparing for the reenactment for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 will be very similar to how preparations for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War played out two years ago, in that we will create about 30-60 costumes overall of historically accurate, heavily researched costumes for a special event, but of course 1812 was a very different period from 1860.  Society and fashion in those two years were just as wildly different as 2012 compared to 1964.  

1850 looked a lot like this: 

1812 looked more like this: 

Which period are you more drawn to? Do you have any interesting facts about the war that time forgot?

We will keep you updated as the costumes come out, and let you know about the events at which you will be able to see them!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vintage Gowns from the Shop

It is smack dab in the middle of bridal season here and everywhere, and this bridal (etc) shop has been buzzing with wedding talk even more than usual.  Meghan and I both got engaged around the same time this year, and will be getting married around the same time next year.  This week, Meghan returned from a visit to her parents' house with her mother's wedding dress, and we clearly had to take a break to check it out and play with it.

We oohed and aahed and made some plans for how she will want to update the Princess Diana look for her 2013 wedding.  Then I brought out my mother's dress, which I just got back from the cleaners and will also be updating to wear at my own wedding: vintage hippie chic from an actual 70s hippie dress.  Then Marilyn brought down her own wedding dress from 1977, a beaded sheath dress complete with adorable jacket extension, and we had a grand old time comparing the styles and decades, and getting really excited for all the things to come.  

1977, 1986, 1975

We can't wait to begin the process of updating these sentimental dresses for our own weddings, and to show our mothers (and you guys!) the results.  We would love to hear about your vintage wedding dress (or anything else) experiences as well; leave a comment or send a picture!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Faces at the Studio

Our little family is growing!

We are about to start gearing up for a huge project with the White House Historical Association (more on that later), so we started looking for some people we could call on as over hire to help if and when things start to get hairy.  At first that's all we were looking for, but the women we found have been so great to work with that they've been coming in almost every day since they started working with us.

If you are privy to our email newsletter, you know about Barb, a good friend of Marilyn's and costume director for the Mt. Hebron High School theater department. Barb started working regularly with us about two months ago, but we have since added two new faces to our midst, in Katrina and Meghan.  Katrina is our pink-haired steampunk lady with a million ideas for expanding our upcycle collection, and Meghan is a (very) recent transplant from the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech.

We're so glad to have these interesting, talented women bringing in their own styles and opinions as we grow and change.  If you come by the Farmer's Market most weeks (Thursdays 9-2), I will be at our booth with one or several of those ladies helping me out.  Come on over and say hello!

Meghan and Marilyn in our first week at the Farmers Market