Silk Top Hats are the Bitcoin of Antiques

Antique top hat

Few accessories seem quite as evocative as the silk top hat. As the essential headwear of Victorian gentlemen and a modern statement of aristocratic wealth, the silk top hat now faces a sad decline as the few limited examples large enough to fit modern heads mean the style is set to become even more exclusive. … Read more

Are You a Clothing Addict?

clothes theatrical costumes

An addiction to buying clothing is something plenty of people face – but the problem is amplified exponentially when clothes are your hobby or even your profession. Most costume fanatics will admit that not only do they hit the high street regularly for everyday clothes, they are also constantly expanding their special collections. Reenactors have … Read more

The Silent Oppression of Hat Wearing

There’s no denying that hats draw a lot of attention when worn out. Sometimes they win casual praise and admiration but they also inspire shocking abuse. In fact, the sensation of a headband and the captive heat can make wearers feel more self-concious and embarassed. To a certain extent hat wearers are an oppressed minority. … Read more

Recreating the Grande Descente of an Ocean Liner

V&A exhibition Ocean Liners Speed and Style recreates grande descente of fashion 1920s eveningwear

The luxurious staircase that formed a quintessential part of every elite 20th Century ocean liner was a profound showcase for the outfits of fashionable patrons. The V&A recreated this event in its exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed and Style with a projection of figures descending a mockup staircase in replica 1920s couture eveningwear.¬†For many passengers the … Read more

How to Care for Historical Costumes

how to care for historical costumes goth black applique lace

Sadly there is definitely a point when an antique garment is simply too old and fragile to wear. But how can you care for historical costumes in your collection regardless of whether you wear them or store them for future generations? 1. Buying Interestingly the most important step to caring for historical costumes is at … Read more

Are Fashion Plates Accurate?

1880s fashion plates

Fashion plates are the first source many historical costumiers turn to for a new outfit. They are easily available online such as on Pinterest, are drawn to showcase clothing in as simple and accessible a way as possible and they very often feature a printed date. Even those that don’t offer a date show so … Read more

The Secrets of Authentic Costume

the secrets to authentic costume victorian dress lady

Whether you’re into cosplay, reenactment or simply dressing up for the sake of it, you probably want to look more like you’ve stepped out of a costume drama than out of a fancy dress shop. This is an issue that confronts every costume fan at some point and can be a “rookie error” that never … Read more

Artist Creates Hauntingly Real Victorian Dolls

realistic victorian doll polymer clay

A Russian artist has become a social media sensation with his incredibly realistic dolls. If you enjoy the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross then you will love watching Michael Zajkov sculpt faces in polymer clay, delicately paint them and individually thread every hair.   Zajkov’s Doll Technique He seems to follow a standard technique … Read more

Meet the Costumier Starting a Dandy Drinking Club

dandy, victorian, top hat, london,

The Costume Rag meets Dandy Drinking Club founder Jonny Haart to learn about his exciting new venture. “A celebration of male sartorial elegance and the art of drinking,” he advertises. “We will be arranging pub meets, crawls and social outings throughout the year. Ladies & Gentleman are both welcome but we have the dress code … Read more

For What it’s Worth – the Making of a Legend

Worth

Charles Frederick Worth arrived in Paris as a sales assisant from a modest birth in Lincolnshire with not a word of French and no more than a five pound note in his pocket. Fourteen years of hard graft later he was clothing the French Empress Eugenie and rocketing to worldwide fame, setting fashion principles that … Read more