Thursday, February 2, 2023

First ever ‘Colonial Fashion Days’ coming to Williamsburg

People might look to Milan or Paris when it comes to fashion, but this February Colonial Williamsburg is bringing its own styles to the people.

Beginning Friday, Colonial Williamsburg will host a number of events that celebrate and educate on the history and beauty of 18th-century fashion during its first ever Colonial Fashion Days, according to a news release from Colonial Williamsburg. 

“Every February the fashion world converges on New York to celebrate the newest and best designers and attire,” said Bill Schermerhorn, Colonial Williamsburg creative director of signature events. “Here, we craft and showcase superior attire of a slightly older vintage.”

The events will host three days of Historic Trades interpretation and Arts Museums exhibitions and programming. It will also set the stage for Mr. Jefferson’s Palace Garden Party in May, according to the news release.

RELATED STORY: Inside Colonial Williamsburg with costume designer Brenda Rousseau

Zack Pinsent, Colonial Williamsburg's Revolutionary in Residence, will be part of the Foundation's first ever Colonial Fashion Days. (WYDaily/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)
Zack Pinsent, Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary in Residence, will be part of the Foundation’s first ever Colonial Fashion Days. (WYDaily/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)

Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary in Residence, Zack Pinsent, will be featured in the events. Pinsent is a self-taught tailor who has not worn any piece of modern clothing since he was 14 years old. 

In addition to being a social media influencer profiled by the BBC, he operates Pinsent Tailoring in Brighton, East Sussex, England where he crafts items reflecting fashion of the late 17th through early 20th centuries. 

The programming will also feature interpretation at Colonial Williamsburg Shops including the Tailor, Milliner and Mantua Maker, Shoemaker and Wigmaker. There will also be an exhibition, “The Textile Arts of Britain,” at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museums.

The full list of events is as follows:

Friday

  • “A History of Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design,” from 11 a.m. to noon in the Art Museums’ Hennage Auditorium. Guests can explore decades of costume research with Brenda Rosseau, manager of the Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center.
  • “Fashion on Your Feet,” from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Art Museums’ Hennage Auditorium. Guests will hear from Neal Hurst, the Colonial Williamsburg associate curator of costumes and textiles, as he explores 200 years of fashionable footwear.
  • “The Fashionable Garden: Influences on the Governor’s Palace Landscape,” from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Art Museums’ Hennage Auditorium. Guests will learn about the trends of Colonial Williamsburg’s historic gardens from Laura Viancour, the Colonial Williamsburg landscape director.
  • “Colonial Costume Night at Chowning’s,” from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chowning’s Tavern on Duke of Gloucester Street. Guests to the tavern can dress in 18th century attire and receive 25 percent off their meal. This excludes alcohol and cannot be combined with other offers.

Saturday

  • “A Tarpley, Thompson & Company Costume Fashion Show,” from 11 a.m. to noon in the Art Museums’ Hennage Auditorium. Guests can preview the spring styles that are currently available for the Governor’s Palace Garden Party.
  • “Jefferson on Display,” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Art Museums’ Hennage Auditorium. Guests can hear from G.S. Wilson, a senior historian at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and author. A special $10 program ticket is required in addition to admission.
  • “Fashion Fanatics,” from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. Guests can experience this guided tour where they’ll view period British fashion trends.
  • “Colonial Costume Night at Chowning’s,” from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chowning’s Tavern on Duke of Gloucester Street. Guests to the tavern can dress in 18th century attire and receive 25 percent off their meal. This excludes alcohol and cannot be combined with other offers.

Sunday

  • “A Fashionable Encounter,” 11 a.m. to noon at Tarpley, Thompson & Company on Duke of Gloucester Street. Guests can meet Pinsent as he prepares for Mr. Jefferson’s Palace Garden Party. This event is free and open to the public.
  • “Dressing Virginians,” from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guests can listen to Hurst as he explains how Virginians got dressed in the 18th century. 

For more information, visit Colonial Williamsburg online.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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