At the end of 2021, I had told myself to focus on photographing and inventorying the pieces in my collection, with the specific goal of creating affordable traveling exhibits from my personal collection.
Interested in seeing items from my personal collection? You can check out my online catalogue here. None of these are for sale, but are for fashion history and study.
Did I do this in 2022? To an extent, yes - I actually got around 30-40 garments inventoried out of 140, but I also unfortunately bought more items in 2022 than I did in 2021! In my defense though, 16 of the 21 historic garments I purchased were to fill out areas I was missing in a 1920s exhibit I'm planning to unveil in 2023.
Let's take a look at some of the items purchased throughout 2022.
As I mentioned above, the majority of my collecting this year was dedicated toward the 1920s. Only five historic garments did not fall under this time period. Here are some of my favorites!
The first of the year was a 1940s linen blouse purchased specifically to go with a navy blue wool suit in which I wanted to emphasize femininity with the utility of wartime fashion.
It is the prettiest light blue, with a sheer cutout design at the neckline. The sheer fabric is outlined with delicate white glass seed beads.
I saw this Eton jacket and absolutely fell in love with the delicate applique across the front.
Eton jackets get their names from the boys school Eton in Oxford. They're usually shorter, cropped jackets that emphasize the S-shaped figure of a large bust and little waist. They typically are seen in fashion plates from 1898-1902ish.
I may end up not keeping this, but we'll see. I'd need to place it with a blouse and either find a gored wool skirt to go with it or make a reproduction. While it's stunning on its own, it would probably look better exhibited as a full outfit.
As with the Eton jacket above, I couldn't let this c.1895 bodice go to someone else! The silk satinof the gigot sleeves are in impeccable condition, and the bright blue of the bodice underneath the sheer net is absolutely stunning. I will have to do a little bit of conservation on this piece, as the sheer fabric doesn't seem to be connected to anything and looks really bizarre hanging haphazardly past the waist.
The collar was probably added at a later date, but I love all of the amazing details on this! I plan to make a silk gored skirt to go with this, although it's absolutely amazing all on its own!
I bought three very similar dresses all from around the same time period - 1927- 8 just in a variety of colors, but this one is probably my favorite of the three. It's got a Schiaparelli inspired trompe l'oiel bow on the bodice and some very cute delicate details throughout, which makes me think it might actually be couture. There's no label, though, so like many other items in the day, it could have been a pattern from one of the magazines in which someone took extra care to make look couture. The jacket is separate, and the dress itself is made to look like a bodice and skirt, with the tiered ruffles adding an asymmetrical, yet appealing depth deeply sought after throughout the 1920s.
The only corset I bought this year was a 'College Girl' corset c. 1923 made by the Jackson Corset Company. As the woman's figure slowly transformed from the extra curvy to the boyish, flat chested silhouette, companies began marketing corsets such as this one as 'youthful and healthy' undergarments that helped obtain the boxy silhouette. Lightly boned with horizontal channels across the natural waist helped provide support.
One of the antique sellers I follow offered an 1850s-1900 mystery box, and to my surprise this gorgeous 1860s dress with in there! I'm a sucker for mystery boxes, and would love to do another one at some point.
This 1860s dress is in amazing condition with a few minor problems. It's got a gorgeous bow at the back of the waist, and amazing velvet trim details. I need to remake a hoop skirt to showcase my 1860s dresses, as the one I made in 2015 is severely deflated and in need of an upgrade (I've gotten much better at creating historic silhouettes!)
This adorable c.1926 printed silk dress is an amazing example of mid-1920s day wear. I need to do more research on it, but it's definitely going into my 1920s exhibit!
I have a few others I need to unpack that I haven't included in this list here, and I'm sure a number of them are also going to fall into my favorites category for the year, and I'll update this once I actually pull them out of their boxes! In the meantime, I've decided that instead of buying in 2023, I should probably be selling more, along with continuing an inventory of what I have! Wish me luck!