American Duchess: How One Artist Started a Shoe Sensation

Illustrator and designer Lauren Stowell started the 18th Century sewing blog American Duchess but struggled to turn it into a feasible income. Forced to sell her precious antique finds on Etsy she hit upon a revelation that would change her life for good. She discovered that historical footwear – made new to modern sizes – … Read more

The REAL Danger of Synthetics in Period Costume

A Napoleonic reenactor has suffered what could have been a serious incident were it not for her use of historically-accurate natural fibres. Liz Webb recalled that she and her friend Vicki were attending the first Napoleonic weekend at Canada’s Fort George historical site when Vicki was cooking dinner over an open fire and the wind … Read more

Diplomat Captured Costumes of Diverse Classes and Cultures in 1797

bohemian prague dress

The King of Tahiti, Venetian nobles, French artists and the favourite of the King of Persia – all were fair game for the diplomat and illustrator Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur (1757-1810) who captured the clothing of all manner of classes and cultures at the very end of the 18th Century. Born in Montreal, Saint-Sauveur followed a … Read more

It’s Ye Olde Reenactment Ethics Debate Again

civil war confederate

A recent article published on MSN has dredged up the endless debate about the ethics of military reenactment that is almost as old as the events depicted, and arguably just as important. Strange and Disturbing Hobby “It’s a hard time to be a Civil War re-enactor,” began Sean Braswell, “and not just because trudging through … Read more

RSC Celebrity Costume Treasures For Sale on Ebay

judi dench royal shakespeare company elizabethan doublet

A treasure-trove of unique costumes worn by acting legends including David Tennant, Ian McKellen and Judi Dench are up for sale on Ebay to support the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new costume workshop. The handpicked celebrity-worn garments follow less than a year after the company held a massive costume sale in September 2017 that saw literally … Read more

Five Reasons Costume is a Curse

costume is a curse

Don’t you ever wish, just sometimes, that you did not have such an intensive, wonderful and expensive hobby? After a long day or a sleepless night, don’t you just detest the piles of fabric you have to clear before bingeing on your favourite box set and filling your head with fantasy? Normal people, you have … Read more

Does Historical Accuracy Really Matter at Events?

regency reenactment dress

Trigger warning: this could get messy. Many costumers view historical accuracy as a sacred principle to be upheld at all times, and very often imposed upon other people. Others happily run riot in mass-produced synethics or mismatched ensembles in the vague manner of some era or another. Even a passing casual remark can cut deeply … Read more

You Could Own Russell Crowe’s Gladiator Armour

Gladiator roman armour

Russell Crowe’s Gladiator armour is among some valuable props the acclaimed actor will auction five years after his separation from ex-wife Danielle Spencer. The auction sale entitled ‘The Art of Divorce’ at Sotheby’s Australian branch will contain 223 items including Spencer’s ring, valued at A$100,000 (£56,000). In a recent interview with the Australian Daily Telegraph Crowe said “we’ve … Read more

Nelson Wore the Sweetest Promise Ring at Trafalgar

Fede promise ring of Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton

If you thought promise rings and pre-engagement tokens were a new fad for Millennials unwilling to commit, think again. Shortly before Horatio Nelson embarked on his final and fatal campaign he had an informal wedding ceremony with his mistress Emma Hamilton in which they exchanged this fede ring that seems uncannily modern. The gold band … Read more