Jane Makolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhala, Editors of “The Tudor Child”
Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers (QAB) is pleased to share our recent online interview with Jane Makolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhala, both experts in the reconstruction of Tudor Era clothing. Jane, who holds a doctorate in historical interpretation from the University of Surrey, is the director of JMD & Co, a live interpretation consultant business. She managed costumed interpretation at Hampton Court Palace from 1992 to 2004 and currently trains staff working at several historic properties, such as Buckingham Palace. Ninya, who holds a Higher National Diploma in Costume Interpretation at the London College of Fashion, has been making reconstructions of historic period clothing for 25 years for JMD & Co, Historic Royal Palaces, The Royal Armouries, The National Trust, English Heritage, The National Archives and Gainsborough’s House.
We approached our co-author Jane Huggett to write the text for the first part of the book as we knew that she had already carried out a great deal of research on the subject. She had already gathered a rich collection of reference material from reading contemporary childcare manuals, letters and other documents as well as from studying the visual sources and extant examples of children’s clothes. Once she had agreed to work with us we gave her our findings from our own study of sixteenth century wills to add to the mix. In addition, the three of us together complied a searchable database of more than 1,000 images, including paintings, effigies and sculpture. From this, we could draw data regarding trends in colour and style relating to different age groups and genders.
3. Ninya and Jane, what motivated your initial interest in creating such exquisite reconstructions of historical costume? When and how did you develop your partnership?
Jane Malcolm-Davies worked at Hampton Court Palace from 1992-2004 where she introduced and ran the team of costumed guides. Ninya set up her costume making business in 1994 after graduating from The London College of Fashion and quickly became the principal maker for Jane’s company. The Tudor Tailorwas written as a result of the research carried out in making and wearing the costumes for Hampton Court Palace.
4. To those interested in recreating their own period clothing, where may they purchase your patterns, materials and other supplies? Do you ever sell completed reproduction historical costumes to the general public?
All of our patterns, materials and costuming supplied can be purchased from the website www.tudortailor.com. Ni
We send our books and products all around the world! Simply select the relevant UK, Europe or RoW (rest of world) ‘add to cart’ buttons.
We are currently in conversation with two other UK heritage sites which are considering hosting The Tudor Child exhibition later in the year. Keep an eye on the talks and events page of our website, as well as our Facebook page, for news. We came over to the States back in 2006 to promote the publication of The Tudor Tailor and had a really wonderful time meeting many of our US readers. We hope to arrange another trip over the pond in the not-to-distant future!
*****For those interested in learning more about Jane Makolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhala’s fascinating work or who wish to purchase The Tudor Child, Clothing and Culture 1485 to 1625 or one of their other fascinating books, QAB encourages you to visit their website “The Tudor Tailor, Reconstructing 16th Century Dress” at www.tudortailor.com.*****