Exclusive interview with Ninya Mikhaila

The Tudor Tailor by Ninya Mikhaila & Jane Malcolm-Davies

I have just posted my interview with Ninya Mikhaila, historical costumier and co-author of The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing sixteenth century dress.

Ninya Mikhaila has been making reconstructions of historic costumes for museums and heritage sites since 1988. She established her business in 1994 after gaining a Higher National Diploma in Costume Interpretation at the London College of Fashion. She has been the principal maker for JMD&Co since then. Other clients include Historic Royal Palaces, The Royal Armouries, The National Trust, English Heritage, The National Archives and Gainsborough’s House. Ninya also led Nottingham University’s recent course in the social history of Tudor dress.

By coincidence, my copy of The Tudor Tailor arrived today and looks fantastic! It contains:

  • 160 pages;
  • 80 historical illustrations, many in colour;
  • Over 100 specially commissioned line drawings;
  • 36 patterns with full step-by-step instructions and photographs showing finished garments worn by real people.

The book blurb reads:

The first four chapters provide a social history of clothes in the 16th century, drawing on the latest research and primary sources such as ordinary people’s wills and surviving royal records. There is discussion of the materials used, people’s financial and social relationships with their clothes, and the changes in dress from birth to death. There is as much emphasis on the clothes of ordinary people as there is on high fashion. There is also general advice on choosing materials, construction methods, and an insight into the Tudor tailor’s sewing kit.

In our interview, Ninya and I discuss the inspiration behind the book, the process of researching historic costume, recreations of Tudor life at Kentwell Hall and a very peculiar custom to do with concealing garments in walls…

Read the full interview here.

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  1. I have this book and is very, very interesting!!! I could make my own Tudor dress for my Spanish Re-enactment Group. The content is very useful!!!

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