If you make costumes, especially historical costumes, you’ve probably had the experience of finishing a fabulous outfit right before an event, & you have little or no time to make or purchase coordinating shoes, hat, or purse. So you grab something & hope it works or try to cover it up when photos are taken, all the while promising to add those items later. Well, later has finally come!
Accessories can make a costume come to life. They can be the difference between an ordinary outfit & something that looks like you stepped out of a portrait or fashion plate. Historically accurate hats, hair, shoes, fans, parasols, gloves, jewelry, & makeup complete the picture. Even if you’re designing a fantasy or science-fiction costume, the correct accessories can make or break the outfit. After all, Frodo without the One Ring is just a some random hobbit.
Coincidentally, next year’s Costume College bonus-track theme is Accessories! So why not work up to it with a year’s worth of accessory projects? You could make all your accessories from one era so you have a truly complete wardrobe, or you can jump around in time & theme. Do 1 challenge project or all 12. It’s up to you. Just don’t put off your accessorizing. Remember, the ability to accessorize is what sets us apart from the lower primates.
How It Works:
Each month will have an accessory theme such as hats, shoes, or purses. Themes will be announced three at a time, so you can start working on them in advance. During the month, I’ll post articles, resources, & inspiration images related to the theme. At the end of the month, you post your completed accessory report to your blog & link back on my wrap-up post or post directly to the Flickr pool noted below.
What to Report:
At the end of each month, post to your blog & then post your url to my round-up blog post or submit your photo to the Accessories Head-to-Toe Flickr pool, & either should have the following info attached, at minimum.
The Accessory: What did you specifically make.
Historical Period: Include reference image if you like.
Outfit It Accessorizes: Include or link to photo if possible.
Materials Used: Such as fabric, wire, leather, flowers, gems.
Techniques Used: Such as sewing, glueing, metalwork, knitting.
The Accessory Themes:
Hats – Most every historical era before the 1960s had lots of hats. They complete the outfit. Make one from scratch or buy one to reshape & trim out.
Bags & Purses – You need a non-modern way to carry you money, cellphone, & camera at costume events. Luckily there are many period purse options.
Fans – Go one better than the cheap sandalwood or battenburg lace fan. Find out what was really accurate for your outfit.
Hair & Wigs – Style a wig, hairpiece, or your own hair into a historical style to suit your outfit.
Jewelry – Bling it up! Add some sparkle to your ensemble with necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches, & more.
Gloves & Mitts – Elegant or practical hand coverings have been used across time.
Parasols – With luck, patience, & sometimes money, you can buy or restore antique parasols. But covering modern frames works well too.
Necks & Waists – Those little pieces that finish off an outfit: Belts, sashes, fichus, ties, collars.
Makeup – Whether it’s apparent or not, makeup is a good idea for most costume outfits. Research your era’s beauty ideal & figure out how to recreate it.
Shoes & Stockings – Learn to make custom shoes or hosiery, or buy them to modify for a historical look.
Costume College – This year’s theme is “Finishing Touches: The Art and Craft of Accessories” so come show off the accessories you’ve made all year long!
Joining via the Flickr Pool:
The Accessories Head-to-Toe pool is open for anyone to join. Just create an account (or use a Yahoo! account). More info is in the Flickr FAQs. I prefer Flickr because the photo quality is excellent, & I can link directly to photos from Flickr (unlike Facebook). This means I’ll be able to show off your wonderful accessories even if you don’t have a blog 🙂
To include your report with Flickr photos, put the accessory name in the photo’s “title” field & add the details in the “description” field. If you have multiple photos, make sure to use the same title & label them sequentially, 1, 2, 3, etc.
Joining via Blog:
Feel fee to add this badge your page. I prefer if you copy it (right-click or click & hold, then “Save As…”, download, & upload to your site), then use it to link back to this page at http://trystancraft.com/costume/accessorizing-head-to-toe-challenge/. Let me know you’ve done so, & I’ll add your blog’s link back here!
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