Centuries of Style: Edinburgh's new 'historical dress experience' letting you take to the streets of New Town in 18th century fashions
Pauline McPherson has created the ‘historical dress experience’ for fashion and history lovers like herself in the heart of Georgian Edinburgh.
Ms McPherson, a Masters student in Dress and Textiles Histories at the University of Glasgow, took the leap this Spring and decided to bring her idea of a classic Georgian fashion extravaganza to life in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.
Inspired by a trip to Bath, the 55-year-old wanted to offer women with an interest in Georgian or Edwardian fashion – or those simply in search of a fun, cultural and historical experience in the city – the chance to sample the fashions and customs of 18th and 19th century Edinburgh.
"It's something that's borne out in my passion,” Ms McPherson said. “Something I always wished had existed and then lockdown came along."
She continued: “I taught myself to sew, went on my Master's course and thought to myself: ‘after a year of being locked in your room, it's time to take some risk’.”
The ‘Historical Dress Experience’ at Centuries of Style lasts for two hours, with groups of up to four people treated to tea, coffee and macarons while getting to choose gowns handmade by historical costume experts in the UK for the 1760s to 1890s.
Centuries of Style is also keen to highlight the often overlooked body positivity in fashions of the era, with its range of dresses and corsets available in sizes 6-20 for women to enjoy trying on.
Visitors are then taken out into the New Town streets and nearby private parks for a stroll – with Ms McPherson on hand to offer historical knowledge about the period, its culture and fashions in the capital.
Ms McPherson added: “It's all about inviting people to have the fun they were roped off from for a year. Life’s short, let's grab it while we can.”
Centuries of Style will be officially opening on Wednesday, June 2, at 1 St Colme Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6AA.
Its website is now open for bookings for up to four people for £65 per person, with guided walking tours also available and priced at £16.50 per person.