I have to admit that when I started writing this post my intention was not to come off as a giant costume snob because I’m definitely not like that. I have a sewing machine and I’m not afraid to use it. I understand budgets and I understand fabric so I’m not trying to insult anyone.
What I don’t understand is inaccurate information when the source is readily available. I’m starting to become more than a little frustrated with Pinterest and at the risk of reiterating what Samantha has already said, I think it needs to be said again.
I study costuming, I have my BA in it because it’s what I love. But nothing gets me more riled up that the perpetuation of false information in regards to movie costumes being labelled as original costumes (Christine’s Pink Bustle from Phantom of the Opera I am talking about you) and really obvious dates that are wrong. I understand that it’s a bit hypocritical since a few of my first posts three years ago make me hide my face in shame. I do slip up every now and then but I try to correct that mistake quickly or I address it.
Which leads me to an example, this dress has been plastered all over Tumblr, Facebook, and Pinterest as a gown from 1800-1820. Those women would be rolling over in their graves if they ever found out that this hot mess of a dress was attributed to their period of fashion.
I can vaguely, maybe, if I bash my head against the keyboard and squint my eyes see why someone could confuse this with a Regency gown. Yes, the bodice stops under the bust, and the skirt is vaguely in the shape of a Regency dress but just because something shares a silhouette with a time period doesn’t mean it’s correct. Especially when the pin has a link straight to the museum which dates the gown to 1967.
All I would like to say is please check your sources. Samantha offers really good advice when she says to look for 3 primary sources (link) when you find the costume you want to make. Don’t just take the comment that comes with a pin as the final word, click through and read the source. If there isn’t a link go to Google images and search using the image.
The best piece of advice I can give anyone is don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know. I don’t think they teach that in schools anymore but when I was growing up my parents and my teachers all taught that there was no shame in asking for help if you don’t know the answer. If I’m unsure I post and ask. Nine times out of Ten someone has the answer within five minutes of me posting.
I’m not trying to crucify Pinterest because I hardcore love it. All I’m asking is, people check your sources. There is way too much false information floating around. Make sure you aren’t contributing to that.
I’m going to go ahead and turn questions on, I’m awful as answering my ask box because I never get notifications anymore but I’ll really keep my eye on it the next few days.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Materials: nylon, silk, glass, metallic thread, plastic
Edit: First request for clarification just came in. The point of this post is to address the circulation of false information when the source is readily available. I understand it’s not something that can be stopped especially by one person. The point is to raise awareness that it is going on so the next time you see an image accompanied by text you don’t take it as *the* correct answer. It may be the right information, that’s awesome! But it may turn out this dress and be so wrong it hurts.
Late 1900’s autochromes
My mind cannot comprehend the thought of playing dress up in a real 18th century gown.