Over the past few years, I've learned that no matter how much I love making things, I just can't do it without an end purpose. After everything that happened and didn't happen, going back to events gave me something I had lost. It was perfect that my first event back was the Jane Austen Evening, which had been my last event. There was such a welcoming symmetry to it.
The return of events has meant so much. Public events have fallen out of fashion with many costumers in favor of private gatherings, but I've always loved public events and still do--the variety and creativity is just amazing. And while every event has its barriers, it's a very good thing that there are events where you buy a ticket and can go instead of an event where you need to know the right people or have the right Instagram aesthetic to get an invitation. Even when I went to private events in what feels like another lifetime now, I recognized what a unique privilege it was, and was thankful that there were costuming events you could do without that privilege. While of course, recognizing and being thankful that I had that particular privilege to attend public events too!
So, the costumes! In 2023 I made a handknit bathing suit from the 1920s, a copy of a Lanvin robe de style, a Mucha inspired dress, a sweater from a 1919 pattern and a hat and skirt to go with it, a sequined cape to go with my 1930s Melisandre dress, and a cotton print Regency dress. (The cape picture is by Mark Edwards, who did an amazing job as the Costume College photographer.)
In addition to what I made, I wore a few things I made over the last few years--a Cersei dress, knitted 1921 dress, plaid 1910s dress, my 1920s Cersei inspired robe de style, my pink handmaiden dress, and a 1920s Halloween cat dress--that I hadn't worn before or only took a few pictures of.
I'm generally not a year in review, mark anniversary type, but this year felt worthy of it, I think.