Let's Talk About History!
How to Sit in a Hoopskirt and Other Mysteries of Women's Clothing
It's the first thing women want to know - how do you sit in that? The first thing volunteers want to know the first time they put on hoopskirts. There are so many other questions - how to tie shoes while wearing a corset, questions about wearing corsets, how to use a parasol (that's a surprising one... but if you don't point the tip of the parasol at the sun, you still get sunburnt). Lots of answers to lots of feminine mysteries.
Quick and Easy Costume Hacks to Expand Your Wardrobe with Thrift Store Finds
A killer costume wardrobe takes time and money. There's a lot of bad costuming to be found online these days, and a lot of poor information. Finding a garment with the right construction lines at the thrift store, followed by the judicious application of scissors and iron, possibly followed by some fabric, lace, ribbons, and flowers, can yield some amazing results!
Sample videos on YouTube at History is My Playground.
The Intersection Between Dance and Clothing
Social dances change for a multitude of reasons: the music, economic vicissitudes, how crowded the dance floors are. And then there's fashion. As women's skirts expand and contract, dance has to change to accommodate them. It's simple physics.
Dance and Music: A Symbiotic Relationship
Dancing requires music. Musicians like playing for dancers. The careers of Johann Strauss, John Phillips Sousa, Scott Joplin, and Cab Calloway were jolted to stardom because they wrote the music people wanted to dance to.
Ladies' Maid: Renaissance costuming
What ARE all these moving parts on a gown for one of Queen Elizabeth's ladies in waiting? Starting from the shift and moving outwards, audience members help dress me while I explain what a farthingale and a forepart ARE.
"Strip Tease:" Victorian Clothing
How many items of clothing is a proper Victorian lady wearing? From gloves and parasols and fake hair to bustles and corset covers, there's a story behind absolutely all of it.
A Timeline of Dance
From the Italian Renaissance to Disco, dancing has been people's favorite pastime. An exploration of Western Civilization's dance crazes.
Bows, Courtesies, and Changing Definitions of Manners
Honoring one's dance partner is a tradition that endured for centuries. But the etiquette of how to behave in a dance space is not the same in 1860 as it is in 1920...
France and the History of Fashion
France has been the fashion leader of Western Civilization for a long time. Even when England was at war with France (again...), English ladies were buying smuggled French silks in port cities! Samples from my personal costume closet illustrate 600 years of French fashion.
Need a lecture? There's so much to talk about!
These are just some of the many subjects that people have needed a lecture on. Need a lecture on dance for your house museum built in 1878? Let's talk.