J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Fine Tailoring at Old South and Old North, 18 and 30 Sept.

This month there are two events at Boston’s historic houses of worship exploring the clothing of the eighteenth century.

On Friday, 18 September, at Old South Meeting House, Henry M. Cooke IV will deliver an illustrated talk titled “William Waine: Tailor to the Common Man.” Cooke has studied the account book of Waine’s South End business, in addition to himself being one of the premier historic tailors in America. He will discuss “the tailor’s craft as a window into economy, social stratification, and everyday life in the 1770s.”

Part of the site’s “Midday at the Meeting House” series, Cooke’s talk will run from 12:15 to 1:00 P.M. Tickets are $6, free for Old South members, and available with an extra fee through this site. (This event was originally scheduled for this past February, but this past February intervened.)

Up in the North End, the Old North Church is now recruiting sponsors for its event “Founding Fashions: Clothing from the Revolutionary War, 1775-1783”:
Step back in time to experience a runway show featuring the clothing and uniforms of the men, women, and children of the Revolutionary War. You will see British regulars and Continental soldiers, ball gowns and riding habits, sailors and farmers, and everything in between! See 240-year-old fashions outside of museums and on real-life models. With commentary from experts in Revolutionary Period textiles, you will learn about the materials, construction, origin, and functionality of the garments on display. 
This event is part of Boston Fashion Week, which some might consider a contradiction in terms. But if we’re admiring 235-year-old fashions, we’re not being too forward.

There are different levels of sponsorships available, ranging from $250 to $5,000. All sponsors will receive preferred seating and an invitation to the private reception following the show, and larger gifts will bring more visibility for a donor or organization.

The advisory committee for this event includes Henry Cooke (see above), Hallie Larkin and Stephanie Smith from At the Sign of the Golden Scissors, and Michelle Tolini Finamore, Penny Vinik Curator of Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, among other notables.

A limited number of general-admission and student tickets for “Founding Fashions” will go on sale through Old North in mid-September. The show will start at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, 30 September, in Old North’s Bigelow Courtyard.

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