GUILFORD – Discovering life in the 1800s by music and costume leads one to the program title “Why did they dress like that?” Carolyn and Larry McMaster bring the era to life, literally before your very eyes. As the McMasters explain;
“Our program reviews four decades of historic dress, from the 1860s to the first decade of the 20th century. Where did those fashions come from?
“Well, we can’t answer that directly, but we can have fun examining some of the other things that were going on at those times and that may have had some influence on clothing fashion: the news, the music, the literature. For example, it’s hard to imagine that Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland at the same time that our Civil War was ending, or that Stephen Foster, who wrote so many sorrowful war songs, also wrote a number of light and silly songs. But then, doesn’t that contradiction showcase something about life? Amidst our sorrow, we laugh. While we are grieving, we find ourselves dancing. And so, also, our clothing choices reflect those contradictions. Tight corsets; flouncy and fanciful skirts and jackets. Stiff collars, oversized ties.