Friday, September 7, 2007

Annalee's Independent Study, explained

I'm doing an independent study this semester on the history of Quaker dress-- specifically, Quakers and Social Change: A History in Costume. Quakers of the past, much like Quakers today, shopped with their consciences, and avoided contributing to industries that committed human rights abuses, or otherwise supported practices inconsistent with Quaker principles. I'll be documenting this tendency through extant documents and photographs, and also creating examples of Quaker clothing from various periods in history. In so doing, I hope to dispel some of the 'plain dress myths' popular among modern Quakers (we all looked like puritans, we didn't wear buckles or buttons, we only wore grey or black, we intentionally stayed a decade behind the fashions of the day, etc) and to demonstrate how much modern-day Quakers have in common with the Quakers of the past.

I've started working on the costume examples already. Tomorrow I'll have progress pictures of my first one: a brown polonaise for the American Revolutionary War period. For now, I just wanted to explain what's going on so that I can refer back to this post later when posting progress pictures and other research. Don't expect much by way of citation in the costume progress posts-- I'm simply not that organized. When I'm done with the written portion of the project, I'll post chunks of it, along with the bibliography. But do watch this space for costume nerding over the coming weeks, because there will be a lot of it.

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