- Tara, I'm a bit confused as to how to use the terminology in the "Vocabulary
of Basic Terms for Cataloging Costume". (i.e. how is does it differ from what
I've already written?) Is it like one of those "animal, genis, specis"
things, or have a totally missed how simple it really is?
Also, I'm leaving for Hawaii (yippee!!) on the 7th and getting back on the
18th, I'll do all the assignments ahead of time that I can, but since I'm
not sure I'll have interent access, if I am not responsive on the message
board, that'll be why. :-)
- --- In CostumeHistoryClass@y..., Jes24601@a... wrote:
> Tara, I'm a bit confused as to how to use the terminology in the"Vocabulary
> of Basic Terms for Cataloging Costume". (i.e. how is does it differfrom what
> I've already written?) Is it like one of those "animal, genis,specis"
> things, or have a totally missed how simple it really is?It is a bit like the "animal, genus, etc." thing, but still quite
simple. Your present description is very detailed like a narrative
descriptionn should be, but the next assignment is to use that
terminology to do a very short general description of the garment such
as might be included on a database at a museum. Your narrative
description reads thus:
"For my historical garment study I chose a 1957 cocktail dress
made by my great grandmother.
My reasons for choosing this garment, (rather than an older one, but I
was born in 1985, so I'm at
an advantage here. ;-) was a.) the fact that my great grandmother made
it, b.) I have the complete
ensemble there is a matching hat too!, and c.) I have the original
pattern as well. All this was
sent to me courtesy of my wonderful grandmother. But back to the
The dress is constructed of a bright pink velvet. And has a
three-quarter length sleeves,
amid-calf hem length, a "v" neckline. Two sashes are attached to the
bodice at the side seams and
are meant to cross in front and snap together at the back. There is a
tuck at the elbow of each
sleeve to give them their shaping. It is unlined, but there is a light
pink satin as facing on the neck.
There is a metal zipper on one side that runs from the under arm to
the hip. The bodice's shape is
made by darts: two vertical ones in the back and two diagonal (from
mid-side seam to the bust
point) in front. Lingerie straps, my great grandmother's trademark,
can be found on the inside
shoulder seams. The skirt front is gathered slightly and the skirt
back is pleated symmetrically
three times on each side.
What is interesting, a sash that attaches to one shoulder has
been added, but I'm not really
sure weather it is supposed to drape over the other shoulder or just
hang there. The dress has also
been altered somewhat from the pattern. On the pattern dress the two
side sashes tie in a bow in
the back, rather then the simple clip in the actual thing. Also the
pattern has a much lower
neckline than the garment, the story behind this, reasoned by my mom
and aunt was that my great
grandfather never allowed his wife to dress too "provocatively", thus
the altering. "
This is very good, but more complicated than would be used on a short
A museum database description might begin:
12.5 Dressmaking Materials
Probably a database would go further (reading the introduction at
http://www.open.gov.uk/mdocassn/costume/vbt00e.htm will reveal that
this system is just for the beginning of the description) and
depending on the preferences of the collection might go on in a
variety of ways, like any of these:
1.11 Dress(1),1957, American, no label, Cocktail dress, pink cotton
7.1 Hat, c. 1957, French, "Fu-fu Mode", cocktail hat, pink straw.
12.5 Dressmaking Materials, Commerical Pattern, American, "McCall's
#12345", printed paper.
1.11 Dress(1), Pink cotton velvet with rayon satin lining, American,
1957, Jessica's Grandmother's Name, Birth-Death.
7.1 Hat, Pink Straw with feather trimmings and velvet artificial
flowers, French, c. 1957, "Fu-fu Mode", house in operation 1952-1968.
12.5 Dressmaking Materials, Commerical Printed Pattern, American, c.
1957, "McCall's #12345", company in operation 190?-Present.
1.11 Dress(1), Cocktail dress, 1957, home-made by Jessica's
Grandmother's Name, American, Birth-Death, cotton velvet, rayon satin,
zip fastener. Worn by Jessica's Grandmother's Name, and altered in
style from pattern item number.
7.1 Hat, Cocktail hat, c.1957, "Fu-fu Mode", Paris, France, straw
braid, feathers, velvet. Originally worn by Jessica's Grandmother's
Name with item number of dress.
12.5 Dressmaking Materials, Commercial Pattern for a Cocktail Dress,
c. 1957, American, "McCall's #12345", paper. Used by Jessica's
Grandmother's Name to make item number of dress.
IMPORTANT FOR EVERYBODY:
As you can see each set of descriptions focus on different things,
include data in different order, and some are more detailed than
others. Museums usually have their own systems because musums focus
on different things. For example, a museum that focused on the
wearers of clothing (like a history museum) might use the third
method, whereas a place that was interested in designers and makers of
fashion might use the second. The method you choose will be
based on what YOU think is important. However, increasingly museums,
particularly in the European Union, are using the numbers and terms
found in the vocabulary to begin their descriptions, in order to
assist in data retrieval. Since this has come about due to the rise of
the internet, and may one day be how you can sit at home in Alaska and
search through thousands of museum records worldwide to find images of
garments in museums, I thought I'd best bring it to your attention.
Some of you have garment collections, work with garment collections,
or will begin collecting garments because of the seed of this
assignment. I want to have you begin your description that heads your
final asssignment with these very short terms, and then think about
what other brief information you think is important to begin with.
So! You make up a short, simple description of your item, focusing on
what you think is important for your "colllection" and use the
terminology and numbers from the Vocabulary
http://www.open.gov.uk/mdocassn/costume/vbt00e.htm to begin it. That
is the assignment in a nutshell.