Costume studies students capture how women in 1896 challenged social norms through clothing – Dal News

Costume studies students from Dal’s Fountain School of Performing Arts transported attendees to last week’s historic showcase in 1896.

‘Property and Protest’, held last Wednesday at the Sir James Dunn Theater, presented an image of a time in history when women began to wear clothes that went against the norms of status. what.

Perin Westerhof Nyman, instructor of the historical dress course at Dal, narrated the showcase as the students took to the stage in their creations. The final pieces were the culmination of their time in the apprenticeship program of intricate tailoring, tailoring, historical dress and costume design.

“Our program covers a variety of costume types and we do a lot of work that is theatre-oriented,” says Perin. “We make costumes for Dal productions, and a lot of our students go on to film, but there’s also this very strong historical element.”

The Historic Dress Showcase is an annual event open to the public that takes place at the end of each winter term.

Stuffy and proper? Nope

Daphnée St. Jacques has recreated an intricately hand-embroidered dress she found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. While communicating with MET curators, she embroidered and dyed each flower on the floral panels on the front of the garment to best match the original dress.

“It took me about 120 hours and only half was the embroidery,” says Daphnée, pictured left in the dress. “Normally you buy silk ribbons and they would be woven with different colors, but because of time and money I ended up buying polyester ribbons and using alcohol markers to dye each of the ribbons .”

Daphne says her dress fits the theme of propriety and protest.

“We always imagined previous eras as being primitive and appropriate and following these codes. There have always been people who have broken these codes and broken these rules, she says. “My personal favorite thing to do when I’m wearing this type of dress is to do silly stuff like squat and act as unwomanly as possible just because I can.”

From women’s suffrage to the New Woman

Lilian Gibson, left, made a purple silk taffeta dress inspired by the women’s suffrage movement. It was based on a formal dress from the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia. Lilian made all of the roses in her hat “meticulously” by hand from the same fabric as the dress.

Jordan Chambers, left, created a black and white woolen ice skating costume based on a design from an 1896 issue of The delineator, an American women’s monthly published in New York. This type of clothing design allowed women to participate warmly on the ice. The horizontal lines of the dress trim were designed to provide support, keeping the hem away from the skates.

Hannah Plater, left, created a mountaineering outfit to show what a Victorian woman might wear for a mountain hike. The outfit would have been considered quite versatile and functional for climbing and hiking. The woolen fabric she used would also have kept the wearer dry and warm, even if it were to rain during the trek.

Chiara Power, on the left, recreated a blue and brown bloomer costume based on a garment from the Kyoto Costume Institute. It is a combination intended for cycling. In 1896 it would have been considered risky for a woman to wear it and according to the window display “bloomers were associated with the ‘new woman’, a symbol of social change which evoked both excitement and fear of society”.

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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