Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Carriage and Stature.......

An actor once said "It's only when I first put on the costume that the character comes together". We know exactly what he meant. Each period and different status that you wear informs your carriage, mannerisms and abilities. Male, 15th Century wear fits close all over. Tudor paned hose seem very loose, although with a girdlestead, all the weight is carried on the shoulders. The weight of the back pleats in an 18th C. Frock coat forces you to lean back and give the 'pigeon chest', so reminiscent of the period. Victorian gents' clothing just makes you stand upright! The addition of wigs, (no, you can't bend down) Canes, (Learning to bow, with a cane, in the different periods deserves an article on its own!) Kerchiefs, Hats, gloves and other sundries all help the character come to life. Spending a little time on these is well worth the investment. The photo was taken at the 'Festival of History', where we met lots of nice people, including Gina B
who has featured on here before - and there's a lady that likes 'fine details'!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Temporal Fugue

If we were a contemporary tailor, or if we specialised in one small section of history, it would never happen. Clients would just say "I need a new outfit (or in the latest case 35 outfits!), in wool, dull colours". and that would be it. No problem, sorted.

Ah, would that it were. It normally happens late on a Sunday afternoon at shows, when you've seen a few hundred people in 'civvies', or when you've been concentrating on a particularly difficult project for hours. The truis in the picture, for example. Then it happens. You can almost see it coming..

1st Customer "Hi, I'm after a Victorian Gents' outfit".
" Yes Sir, which date in particular?"........(and it's starting)
2nd Customer " Hello, have you any Elizabethan Ruffs?"...
" Of course Sir, plain, figure of eight, lace?".....(definitely on the way)
3rd Customer " Good afternoon, I'm re-enacting the Battle of Neringapatam".
"Err....... "(Temporal Fugue achieved!)

Just for a couple of seconds it kicks in. The Temporal fugue...which is the utter inability to remember dates, whole periods of History or even your own name.

So if you ever contact or meet us, give us a couple of seconds for our brain to 'get in gear'. You may just be witnessing a 'displacement'. It doesn't happen all the time, promise! ;-)
By the way, Neringapatam was a Naval battle off India in 1858, but I knew that, - didn't - I?.....