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The History of Elaborate Fancy Dress Costumes
Dressing up in costume is nothing new. The tradition of wearing costumes or disguises of some sort to celebrate special occasions has long been a part of cultures throughout the world. For over four hundred years individuals have enjoyed dressing up and appearing at balls or parties in forms quite different from their everyday selves. Fancy dress balls were popular during the late 19th century and continued into the early 20th century. This presentation will explore the history of fancy dress costumes.

Howard Vincent Kurtz has an extensive and diversified career in costumes, which has involved professional design, academic teaching, and as a fashion historian. He is Professor Emeritus of College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where he served as the Resident Costume Designer and chair of the Design Tech program for twenty-five years. Howard’s previous work experience includes several years as a draper/pattern maker in New York City, creating costumes for Broadway, Hollywood films, and television. His designs have been seen at The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Orlando Shakes, Opera Orlando, and many other theaters on the East Coast. Howard was honored to receive the Helen Hayes Outstanding Costume Design Award in Washington, D.C. He has authored national and international publications on fashion and lectures on topics related to historical dress. Howard is a member of the Costume Society of America, United States Institute of Theatre Technology, and United Scenic Artists, Local 829, Costume Division. He is currently designing the holiday production True North at Orlando Repertory Theatre. For more information, visit

Nov 22, 2022 05:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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