The Best Costumers I Met At Costume College 2018 – Part Un

Let me warn you, this article will be completely unfair. Why? Because it is a selection of my favourite people met at the biggest costuming event in the world called Costume College. It’s based on my personal experience, my own line of judgement and mostly chance that made me come across certain people and miss others. For those who were at Costume College 2018, If I failed to mention someone worthy of extra attention, feel free to say so (nicely) in the comments. For all the others, enjoy this free session of #costumeporn…  


As those of you following me on Instagram know, I attended a couple of months ago one of the most famous costuming event, Costume College 2018 taking place in Los Angeles every year in July. When I chose to settle down in San Francisco, little did I know how many costume people were living in the US and especially around the Bay and the Los Angeles area… And this special event was the best way to meet all of them in person and marvel without limit.

As the list was growing too big, I divided it in two separate articles.

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So let’s see who we have on this (rather long) best of list. I put their Instagram name on there so you can find and follow them more easily.


Most Fun (and yet accurate) : MoyerDestroyer

Lauren started all this crazy entreprise by offering to share the drive down from San Francisco to LA with me. Since “afraid to go alone” was my main bad excuse for not attending last year, I very happy she came to my rescue and got me on the move.  She is far more advanced in the craft and had tons of different costumes (and vintage clothes) to wear during this 4 days event.

Her Française dress was incredible…

And directly inspired by a naughty painting of the same time…

La Marquise (not me this time) posing casually

Most Entrepreneur : American Duchess

Abby and Lauren have started their business in historical shoe making for a few years now. I can only imagine how many comments like “but it is so niche, it will never take off” or “you never created shoes before, how are you going to do it?” they had to ignore to create the business. But that didn’t stop them. The PR person in me says bravo to their many mentions in great publications like this video by Racked.

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For the Gala @costumecollege, Lauren will be debuting the 3.5 version of her yellow silk gown! Just like a proper 18th century lady, Lauren has remade this gown to update it to her latest fashion tastes and desires. Starting as a 1740s English gown, she updated it to work with her 1790 Turkish dress costume, and now as a fashionable 1780s Italian Gown. The secrets of remaking and retrimming can be seen in the gown, so don't forget to ask her how she did it! It's been a really fun experiment!?⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #costumecollege #costumecollege2018 #americanduchessguide #1700s #georgian #marieantoinette #handsewn #remake #reuse #recycle #historical #historicalcostume #costume #costumedesign #costumedesigner #sewing #dress #americanduchess #historiccostume #fashion #oldfashioned #americanduchesshoes⠀

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After the success of the first book, they are soon to launch another one about hairstyles.

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Abby’s very pretty version of a dress worn by Camille Clifford , a Belgian actress turned most famous “influencer” of the Belle Epoque

And the original model…

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Camille Clifford displaying her famous hourglass shape so fashionable at the time (with a little help of a corset, obviously…)

Most original dress represented : Frolicking_frocks

Natalie dared to venture a 1830ies look and to wear it well (that hair style doesn’t flatter everyone…) BUT she also was the only one who created one of my favorite 18th style, the robe volante.


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How young ladies dressed during the 1830ies …


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Last but not least, my favorite costume of the weekend: my 1720s robe volante which I wore on Sunday. This style is not particularly well known, but it was very popular in the 1720s-1730s as a lounging robe or negligee. It’s quite simple in cut, made from straight widths of fabric pleated in at the shoulders with almost no shaping at the side seams. The resulting loose fit is very odd to modern eyes (or at least to my husband who doesn’t like it at all ?), but the more I researched it and looked at examples in portraits, the more I came to love it. Mine is completely hand sewn and worn over the round hoop that was fashionable during the era. I plan to do a write-up of my research eventually, as so many people expressed a real interest in learning more about it, and there really isn’t a lot written about them yet. So for now, enjoy some photos of me trying to look elegant in 5 yards of shapeless silk taffeta! Swipe for a closeup of my stomacher, and some of the originals and portraits that were my main inspirations for the details of this ensemble. #historicalcostume #historicaldress #historicalfashion #fashionhistory #seamstress #handsewn #1720s #18thcentury #18thcenturyfashion #robevolante #robebattante #sackdress #costumecollege #costumecollege2018 #sundayundies #dressinggown #undress #negligee #watteau

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Most “down to the little details” creations : Before the Automobile

Merja has such patience. She hand sews everything. And I mean EVERYTHING, from beads and sequins to the long seams of the many layers of this gown.

Plus she documents everything on her blog so that other people can get inspired too. She was one of the first costuming blog I read about 5 years ago and she was the one to push me to start costuming. I was very glad to meet her in person!

Most crazy sleeves : a tie between By Strings Attached and Peachassassi

Look at all this beautiful volume… it’s not easy to make it work with different body frames and to appear accurate yet proportionate.

And that yellow dress has always been on my to do list …

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all 3 dresses are inspired from the movie Crimson Peak–e9YF_lF/?taken-by=peachassassin

Most Hand Sewing Dedication : Wax Sealed Costumes

Adrienne used every last minutes at Costume college to keep to her idea of hand sewing every stitch of her gown…. And she did! Every step of her journey are in her instagram stories by the way.

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Always something to adjust and touch up on a costume…

The result is stunning!


Most Outstanding Couple Dynamic : Dressed in time


I have watched on Instagram every sequin of that dress get sewn on the fabric. And I was very excited to see the final result. I love it when you get to touch and feel all the hard work that goes into making such a dress.

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The Kooples

Starting a new costume is also envisioning the time it will take, the references you will use, the hardships that will come with it… You don’t really have that when you create modern day clothing and I believe that’s why I get a bigger kick out of doing costuming.

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The original Worth dress she recreated

It really WAS a Worth gown to the very details! And with Caroline’s husband looking like the Tsar himself the illusion was perfect.



Most Fabric Design effort : Redthreaded

Another incredible Worth gown reproduction was this one. All the black you see on it are ribbons sewed to mimick the original patterns on the fabric.

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Another beautiful Worth gown…

A very interesting article on how 19century people already photoshoped their portrait featuring the same dress.



Most Decolleté Mastering : Threadedthistle

In my humble opinion, a lot of the appeal of creating dresses from another era is the way it shapes your body contours (in a nice way).Yes you can wear a modern form fitting dress but believe me it will never feel as good as that big dress making your waste this tiny cute little thing and your boobs popup indecently, despite your body being covered in yards and yards of fabric. And I think Marlee was the embodiment of that.

And what about you?

Which costume would you recreate out of this list?

Let me know in the comment or on Instagram !

More costumes you say? Have a look at my Robe à l’anglaise here

La bise



3 comments Add yours
  1. Oh wow! I just saw this scrolling through facebook. I didn’t dream we’d be on it. I’m so honored to be included!! Meeting you was great! And I’m still laughing about Moyer Destroyer’s bordalou! ?

    Caroline (dressed in time)

    1. Hey Caroline, I was very glad to meet you too! I had a whole instagram posting campaign in mind and just.. didn’t have time to do it yet lol. But your comment motivated me I am going to get back on it ;-).
      la bise

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