Theatre Costuming: Creating a Victorian Era Dress [Abstract]

Period costuming is staple of any good theatre production. In order to accomplish that, a good costumer must research that particular era, its fashions, and its clothing. As a student of technical theatre, I have researched the late Victorian era, specifically the 1880s, and the clothing women wore. I was very interested by the layers of dresses that the women wore, and I want to try my hand at creating a Victorian era dress. The fashion at this time was the later bustle, a metal cage skirt that helped keep the shape of the skirt and supported the draping of fabric across the back. An underskirt went over the bustle, and an over skirt over the underskirt, although the over skirt was meant to show off the underskirt as well. During this time the corset was still in fashion, shaping the body. Bodices worn over the corset had fitted sleeves, although evening gowns would forgo sleeves.

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