Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference Day 3

The conference starts early on the next two days, but there is tons of information to get out. First thing, of course, is breakfast. Meals from Saturday breakfast to Sunday breakfast are included in the conference cost. The conference starts precisely at 8:00; Carolann keeps everything on schedule. Saturday is the day we get to see the conference fabric. Speakers and presenters are sent the same fabric, one for women and one for men. Faculty are told to make a garment with the fabric; generally, women make dresses and men make or have made vests. Unfortunately, I didn't get very good pictures this year.

It's always fun to see the different ways the ladies use the fabric. As you see, some decided the fabric was 1840s rather than 60s. Another used the fabric for a wrapper. You can see additional photos here.

Following the dress and vest presentations, the first sessions begin. The sessions are broken out into two tracks: track A geared more for women and track B geared more for men. I usually attend track A; however, I get the handouts for all sessions so I at least have all the information. If you would like to see the topics for Track B, visit the Genteel Arts website.

The first session on track A was K. Krewer's Accessories after the Fact: A Complete Toilet from Boots to Bonnets. I really love K's presentations. They are always well researched and packed full of photos. And she puts these photos and the handout on a CD for the participants! Her presentation this year went over everything: headwear, gloves, outerwear, shoes, aprons, stockings, etc. Great presentation.

After the break Virginia Mescher presented Celebrations! Holidays 19th Century Style. Unfortunately, I had been feeling kind of puny since arriving in Pennsylvania, so I went back to my room and rested a bit. I was sorry to miss Virginia's talk but did feel a bit better after resting.

After lunch we heard Jessica Craig talk on Love Me, Love my Dog or Cat or Bird or Fish: Mid-19th Century Domestic Pets. This was Jessica's first time to speak at the conference and she did a wonderful job. Her presentation included many period images of pets. So many cute animals. Her handouts included a breakdown of the different dog breeds and when introduced into America. She also introduced us to Schmitty, a little stuffed dog, named in honor of Carolann and Don. Schmitty was there to model the knitted dog coat and muzzle.

The last talk of the day was Carolann Schmitt's Basque-ing in Beauty: Bodices that Extend Below the Waistline. She began by sharing a history of the style and how it became a fashion. Again lots of period images. Her handouts included definitions, a description of the fabrics and trimmings used with the style and then period descriptions of basques in fashion.

A new set of originals were on display all day on Saturday.

Again, you can see the pictures I took of the originals on Flicker.

Saturday night is the dinner and ball. This is the chance for us to wear period dresses. This year, I decided not to take my period stuff to save luggage space. There were many beautiful dresses this year.

After dinner, of course, is the ball. Smash the Windows provides the music.

More pictures are also on Flicker.

Time to call it a night.

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