EVENT – Costume Accessories: Head to Toe Symposium


March 13-16, 2011
A symposium co-sponsored by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Costume Society of America

In March of 2011, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will host a symposium on the subject of costume accessories. The symposium serves as a complement to an exhibit in the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum entitled Fashion Accessories from Head to Toe. The exhibit will feature Williamsburg’s collection of men’s and women’s hats, gloves, purses, handkerchiefs, pockets, shoes, stockings, jewelry, and wigs from about 1650-1850. These objects will be arranged mostly chronologically along with large-scale reproductions of period images showing similar pieces being used.

Invited scholars from the United States, Canada, and England will present 10 lectures over two and one-half days; a day of hands-on workshops and related behind-the-scenes tours will follow. This symposium is intended to explore the production, consumption, and historic value of these varied objects of personal adornment.

While the study of historic dress tends to begin with the examination of changing cut, silhouette, textile, and decoration, it is the details of costume accessories that are often the most reflective of time, place, and person. Accessories are generally precious, ephemeral, or both. Many incorporate the newest fashions and trends more quickly than the clothing that they accompany, yet certain pieces are classics used by successive generations. They are frequently the product of the most current technologies and employ a bewildering range of materials. Costume accessories become mirrors of social and economic, ethnic and cultural, public and personal concerns. They are intimate; they are fascinating. When viewed with an historian’s eye they are vastly revealing and invaluable details in the story of dress and adornment.

There is limited space, so register soon and be certain to take advantage of reduced rates for CSA members.

Click here for registration and for more information.

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