Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 2001shimmagiccarnival large
Dressing for Carnival in Italy
By Janice Clark
Carnival is celebrated all around the world, notably in Brazil, Trinidad, Switzerland, Italy and in the US. The history, folklore, foods, music, customs, costumes, parades, balls and pageantry have become part of the local culture.
Carnival in New Orleans
By Janice Clark
The New Orleans Carnival in America is similar to the Fasching in Switzerland and Germany which begins on the twelfth night after Christmas and continues until Shrove Tuesday. The expression "Mardi Gras" is from the French, meaning "Fat Tuesday". orleansThe season officially kicks off on the Epiphany, Kings Day, the first Thursday in January with balls and parades leading up to a frenzied climax on the first Tuesday in March, Mardi Gras Day. Unlike anywhere else in the world, from a wrought iron balcony, one can observe a jazz funeral during the festivities while dining on crawfish or pecan chicken or a bowl of jambalaya, finishing with bananas foster or a slice of the famed King Cake.
Carnival in Switzerland

By Thomas Krauss
In Switzerland the carnival activities include colorful processionals and masked balls in several cities. Most carnivals are held aftersm_carngolden Lent begins, a historical Protestant reaction to Catholicism. Festivities usually start a week before Ash Wednesday.

In Lucerne, on the Rhine, bordering France and Germany, the tradition harks back to medieval times; costumes, especially masks, tend to be hideous to frighten away the devil.

Elegance Abandoned - Tiaras
Reviewed by Nancy Lyons
A lecture by Antiques Roadshow and Radio 4 personality Geoffrey Munn, at The Royal Academy of Art, Society of Antiquaries, Piccadilly in London on November 8, 1999. As Geoffrey's lecture illustrates, tiaras may have been abandoned, but their elegance and awe-inspiring designs certainly linger on.Tiaras or diadems have their origins in the ancient custom of crowning the victorious with oak twigs and acorns.
Dressing in Top Hat
By Nancy Lyons
On 15 January 1797, John Hetherington, a hat-maker on the Strand in London, stepped out wearing the first top hat. He created such a sensation that 4 women fainted, pedestrians booed and a little boy broke his arm. smallthatsHetherington was arrested for wearing "a tall structure having a shiny lustre calculated to alarm timid people". He even had to pay 500 pounds for breaching the peace.However, perhaps because of their flashiness, soon afterwards top hats with tall crowns and curled brims had become the must-have fashion accessory.
Collecting Fashion Plates

By Nancy Lyons and Jane Carr
Fashion plates originated in the late 18th century when Costumes Parisiens and The Ladies Magazine and others suddenly started presenting beautifully engraved illustrations of women wearing the latest fashions. Fairly plain by modern standards, they were black and white, and pictured the fashionable models of the day in "haute couture" clothing without any special props or backgrounds.
Not surprisingly, soon after a wide variety of ladies fashion magazines appeared with fashion plates. By the mid-1800s handcolored fashion plates peaked in popularity; they didn't disappear until after the 1920s.


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© 2001