This is the late Mr. Jerry Wiley wearing an 18cc costume as Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Wiley was Dean of the USC School of Law and an actual descendant of our third President. This Costume was designed for a one man show he wrote and performed based on the writings of Thomas Jefferson. Being that I worked on the film "Jefferson in Paris", we enjoyed trading stories about his illustrious ancestor.
Mr. Wiley shared my enthusiasm and desire for authenticity. Although the letters on which he based his script were written prior to Jefferson's death in the early 1800´s, we both agreed however that it would be better if the costume was representational of the late 1700´s since that is the period which most people identify him with.
Thomas Jefferson in his time shared as much enthusiasm for fashion as he did for the constitution. Being that our founding father was a dedicated follower of fashion, we decided to go "all out" in the creation of this outfit. It is completely hand tailored and trimmed. The fabrics used are silk velvet, Duchesse satin, silk brocade, and Irish Linen. The trimmings are Chantilly Lace, authentic antique military braid made of gold leaf covered copper. The vest is a chinese silk brocade reimbriodered with Belgian Brugge Lace.
In addition, the client needed accessories to go with his ensemble, so we decided decided to ad shoes, hose and a peruke (wig). The creation of the shoes was quite curious since we were pressed for time and did not have the luxury of time to commission a cobbler. What I suggested to Mr.: Wiley was that he purchase a pair of shoes with a similar silhouette as those from the 18cc. I then brought them to the cobbler who added high heels and afterwards a brass buckle and velvet bow were added by me.
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