The Wimborne Town Crier - Self Directed Project

A very warm hello to my friends, followers and blog observers...This blog is to record, showcase, and share my work and learning processes throughout my 'Self Directed Project'. For this project I have been asked by Chris Brown the Wimborne Town Crier if I can realise an 18th Century design which will become his new crying costume as of June 2010. I will be sharing all my triumphs and challenges a long the way and self reflecting/evaluating as I go. Please view my attached learning agreement for more information on the project and what it is I aspire to achieve.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Historical Research

I took some general 18th century research to the meeting with Chris yesterday and he really liked the styles from the earlier part of the century, 1720's. The current costume is more mid-century and he'd like a little bit of a change this time.

The earlier part of the century meant the waistcoat was full length, sitting a little higher than the length of the frock coat. The frock coat was made with pleats falling at the side and at the back giving a fuller and more structured silhouette that was very pleasing to the eye and flattering. The pleats lay open to accommodate for a sword and give comfort for riding.
The sleeve cuffs were also very large sitting in the crook of the elbow and hanging away from the sleeve. This is a feature Chris really likes especially as he often needs to use crutches so it will disguise that nicely and we agreed the cuffs would make a bold statement.

The picture above shows a young boy dressed in what is virtually a replica of the adult male ensemble. This is where Kelly and I will have to work together very closely in order to create two costumes that reflect one another to the requirements of our client but also succeed in being historically accurate.

Men's coats were still rather sombre in hue, embroidery being reserved for the decoration of the waistcoat, which was often the most valuable part of the costume, unless the lace ruffles of the shirt were exceptionally fine.
This may be an historical element to the costume, but the issue we have is that we would have to find a patterned fabric that would suit both Chris and Eddie. If the pattern is too big, Eddie will be drowned in the costume and it just won't work. This may mean we will have to consider having a plainer fabric for the waistcoat and apply more detail to the frock coat.
Below is an image of a childs suit, very simply the smaller version of an adults.
The frock coat for this period never fully fastened. This was to show the detail of the waistcoat underneath. The coat may have fastened from the top to a little under half way down and then flared out to reveal the waistcoat.

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