Reimagine Resident: Jordan Mitchell-King

We are thrilled to welcome our first Reimagine Resident: dress historian and maker Jordan Mitchell-King. Follow her project as it develops...

Jordan Mitchell-King is a dress historian and maker who researches the cultures and embodied experiences of clothing in the past. She is currently working on a PhD at De Montfort University in Leicester. Her research focuses on informal women’s clothing in eighteenth-century Britain, exploring how women experienced and understood more relaxed forms of dress in the period. As well as using the traditional approach of archival research, Jordan also experiments with research through the making and wearing of historical clothing.

Jordan studied History and History of Design at the University of York and the Royal College of Art, and over time began to merge these academic interests with her long-time home dressmaking hobby as a means of understanding historical clothing from a different perspective. Through experiencing these garments first and foremost as clothing, rather than distant artefacts, she has found rich veins of knowledge not recorded in the archives. Her PhD project on women’s undress continues to merge the approaches of the historian and the practitioner.

Jordan models a Georgian outfit she made earlier!

Jordan: For the duration of my residency I will be constructing a pair of stays appropriate for the 1810s, when Jane Austen was living in Chawton. I’ll be documenting the making process through a series of photos to demonstrate the stages of construction, and accompanying these with sketches and samples of other styles of stays to show the development of fashions in stays around this time. I’ll also be visiting the House where I will be demonstrating sewing the stays and be available to answer questions from visitors. I’m excited to get started and see where the project takes me!

Two pairs of Jordan’s replica stays have gone on display in the House as part of our ‘Jane Austen Undressed’ exhibition

Check back later to see how Jordan’s project develops!