I know that quite a few of my readers are probably already familiar with the talented Boyer Sisters from the Boyer Sisters, but I wanted to invite them over to my blog for a lovely chat anyway. These ladies are a wonderful trio of singers in the footsteps of the Andrews Sisters, besides their individual talents in creativity. I love learning from Brigid through the sewing projects she shares, being inspired by Charlotte's photography, and relishing the talent Jessica shows for more traditional art forms.
I am really thankful that these three lovely ladies consented to do this blog post interview with me. And without further ado, I will let them introduce themselves!
Jessica: I’m the eldest of the three of us, and though I can be headstrong and bossy at times, I am very much the most laid back of the trio, and have a type B personality. Since graduating from home education, I have continued my pursuit of home-making, but my biggest passions lie in singing, gardening, natural history, sewing, creating props for our blog series Photo Booth Fashion, drawing, and physical exercise. As I have grown into adulthood, the need for a better understanding of God’s word has enveloped my walk with Him, and reading the Scriptures daily and praying for loved ones is the most important element of my day. Without Him I am nothing.
Charlotte: I’m the youngest of the three, a home-educated graduate, and enjoy web design, photography, and sewing. I also have a deep passion for music that extends past just the vintage eras, with my love for opera, broadway, and a good, solid piano solo. I love playing with makeup, and trying out new, bold lip colors :), I love to travel, and am always up for a fun adventure, and am passionate about exercise and making my body the healthiest and fittest it can be. I have a passionate love for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through whom I live and move and have my being.
Brigid: I am the middle sister of the three, and I have the personality to prove it. I approach life with great curiosity, which has led to my passion for studying history, the art of sewing, homemaking, and what makes life tick. I am daily amazed in my walk with the Lord, and how He provides for each of our needs, no matter how great or small they might be, in His perfect timing. My latest adventure has been meeting the love of my life, who I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with after our wedding day this Autumn.
So what encouraged you to dive into vintage fashion?
Jessica: Early on in my girlhood, I would peruse through clothing catalogues like Children’s Place, Land’s End, and of course the American Girl catalogues were not far from my elbow. Looking through those, and dressing up my dolls really gave me a sense of fashion, and the desire to appear lovely, but that was all. It wasn’t until my younger sister Brigi took up the torch in her study of fashion history that I fully understood its importance and the role it plays in society. After that, I began to try to understand fashion, pairing it with the need for modesty, a trait which we girls learned was very much lacking in our day-and-age. So really, it was Brigi’s fault. ;)
Charlotte: I have always had an interest in history, and my favorite parts of picture history books when I was younger was always the descriptions and illustrations of the clothing. When I began reading vintage-inspired blogs in my early teens, my love for historical fashions was revived, and I discovered a practical way to wear “old fashioned” clothes, without going all-out prairie girl or 1776 patriot. ;)
Brigid: I have always had a passion for reading since I was very small, which of course led to an even greater passion for studying history. Throughout my childhood I loved the fashions of the historical eras, but quickly learned that they were not entirely practical for day-to-day wear. As my study of Fashion History continued, I discovered the fashions of the vintage eras, which I realized were much more wearable than the fashions of older eras. Then discovering that there were other people out in the blogosphere who dressed in such styles encouraged me to finally take the dive and start dressing vintage style, which I now do almost full time.
What do you like most about vintage fashion?
Jessica: For me, the fashion from the 30s through the early 50s really seem to capture a sense of industrious femininity that all the eras before and after seem to lack. If you go a ways back, you end up in fussy, frilly attire, and if you go too far forward, the feminist movement really pokes through showing an attitude of rebellion. At least, that’s my opinion.
Charlotte: The eras of the 1940s-50s contain some of the most classic, timeless fashions of all times, so it’s an easy and reliable inspiration source for my everyday style.
Brigid: I appreciate the practical femininity of the fashions of the vintage eras, especially the late 30s through the early 50s. Bottoms were higher waisted, which I think flatters most women’s bodies, and also makes even trousers look feminine. Wearing vintage fashion you can look like a lady, but still have the ease of practical clothing that looks good on you, which has the added benefit of improving your attitude on account of the fact you are dressed nicely but comfortably.
Since the three of you all enjoy vintage styles, how do you encourage and help one another with your interests and personal preferences in vintage fashion?
Jessica: One great example for helping each other out would be when Charlotte made me a 50s style blouse for my birthday with the fabric she bought me for Christmas! I was too busy with moving and working this year to pay any attention to sewing, so with one request from me, she was on the job! We all pitch in from time to time like that.
Charlotte: I love seeing what outfits my sisters come up with each day, and gleaning inspiration from them. I am also a bit of a stylist myself, so one of my very favorite “services” to my sisters is helping them select outfits when they’re in a style rut :) We are constantly showing each other cute vintage dresses or patterns we see on Instagram or Pinterest, which is always fun, and we can always rely on each other to be our first complimenters or critics to help us assess a new outfit. :)
Brigid: I am the resident professional seamstress of the family, so I encourage and help my sisters through my knowledge of pattern-drafting and altering so they can make their own vintage-inspired clothes that fit them perfectly. My love for fashion history has also been of great service to my sisters and I, in that it has helped us to know when something looks vintage or not, whether it be a modern garment from the mall or a thrifted find from Goodwill.
Just for fun, if you could recreate/own any dress or outfit from history what would it be?
Jessica: Wow! That’s a loaded question! Hm… After thinking about it some–this kind of goes against what I said up above about not really liking the historical eras before the 30s–I would have to say that making a ball gown from the War Between the States era would be pretty fun!
Charlotte: Oh, this is a hard one…There are *so* many gorgeous vintage dresses that I die over. I think that if I had to choose just one to recreate/own, it would be this one: 1960's vintage dress. All that swishy tulle just makes me swoon :)
Brigid: Oh my! You ask what is probably the hardest question for a fashion historian who is also a seamstress to answer! I think it would have to be this adorable 1940s sewing themed dress: Not only is the fabric printed with spools of thread, but it has thread spool buttons too!
Those are all choices that I would love to own! And I must confess that I am not sure that I have an answer to this question myself! Thanks for being sports to even try to answer a question like that.
It is important not to completely separate vintage clothing styles from the history that surrounded them. What is one historical event that you would have loved to have lived through, participated in or observed and why?
Jessica: My answer is going to be completely different from the girls. Recreating vintage clothing and learning those eras is pretty easy compared to a lot of other historical eras. I would want to go way, way back and live through the extreme end of King David’s reign and see King Solomon claim his throne, just to see in person how the Israelite Kingdom grew and prospered under his reign. I also think it would have been amazing to live during the time the wisest (sinful) man on earth lived, and to get a taste of how his wisdom impacted the Kingdom. Think of how people’s lives would have been changed during that time!
Charlotte: V-Day after WWII. I can’t imagine the joy, excitement, relief… all the emotions that were going on in each an every person. Oh, that would have been a day to experience!
Brigid: I think I would have to agree with Charlotte. I would have wanted to be in London at the time. I have seen a few film clips of the excitement and rejoicing that took place in that city on V-Day. Everyone just looked so relieved and excited. The people of Britain went through so much hardship, and they lived daily in the fear that they would lose their freedom and country, and to have the relief that they no longer had to live in that fear was positively liberating, and you can see it in the celebrations on V-Day.
You have your own singing group, the Boyer Sisters, which is your tribute to the past with groups like the Andrews Sisters, and you have sung at many WWII remembrance events. What has been the pinnacle of your singing gigs/historical remembrance events?
Jessica: Definitely Remembering WWII in Linden, TN! Definitely! You don’t know the feeling of what it is like to be surrounded by the older and younger generations of like-minded Christians who have purposed to put together an event like that to honor the Veterans, until you have sung at a few other Veteran remembrance gigs put on by a more liberal/worldly group of people. The two just don’t compare. Our Christian brothers and sisters get the full picture of why it’s important to remember the past, so as not to make pragmatic decisions in the future that would one day impact the future generations. I may be wrong, but in my short term experience, you can’t find that anywhere else but Remembering WWII.
Charlotte: Ooh, this is a fun one :) My favorite experience so far in our singing journey has been our first time at Remembering WWII in Linden, TN. It was absolutely incredible meeting so many like-minded Christians with such a passion for preserving the past. That was an incredible time, and I would relive it in a heart beat. :)
Brigid: Once again I have to agree with Charlotte. Remembering WWII is a fantastic event, and I would highly recommend going (we are attending once again this year), but the first year was definitely the best. Why? Because it was our first large-scale WWII gig, and we were surrounded by like-minded Christian brothers and sisters with a passion for history similar to ours. It was such an encouragement. I came away from that event physically exhausted, but mentally refreshed and energized.
I know it is important to you to honor our veterans and remember what they have gone through. How does your faith affect how you view history and the remembrance of historical events and honoring the people tied to these events?
Jessica: Just like I said up above, for me, it is very important to remember the past so that we know how to live a better and more righteous life in the future. On top of that, it is vitally important to lay down a good solid foundation for the future generations to build upon, and the only way we can do that is by learning to honor our Christian parents and elders, gaining wisdom, and even inspiration from their own experiences. They have known what it is like to apply the Scriptures to certain life situations, and how to struggle through difficulties by faith. I know we can learn a lot from them, and just as the Bible says, in Proverbs, we are to learn from our fathers and mothers who have gone before us, and metaphorically wear the wisdom they give us around our necks like a precious ornament.
Charlotte: I believe that the Lord gives us history to learn from and use to better our future. Through remembering, respecting, and hearing the stories from those who have gone before us and paved the rough roads, fought the wars, and created the world we live in today, we are learning about their mistakes and their victories, and how we can better the world ahead.
Brigid: History is a lesson to be learned, and if we don’t learn it we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes our forefathers did. God has given us a rare opportunity to speak to the veterans who lived through the greatest upheaval our world has seen in the last century. The Lord allows struggles and difficulties to come to a nation for a reason, either to judge or test them, and endeavoring to understand why in each circumstance, such as WWII, is a terrifying thought to ponder, as we are governed by a righteous, omnipotent, sovereign Lord. My faith affects how I view history in that I want to learn the lessons from past struggles in history so that I can teach my children to not only have faith that the Lord preserves His people, but judgement comes to a people that they might repent and turn to the Lord. Wars are a judgement from God, but I think we can learn from the honor and valor of those who fought in them, and teach their lessons to the generations to come.
My sincere thanks to you, Jessica, Brigid, and Charlotte for taking the time to answer my questions and connect with me here on my blog!
Now everyone please go connect with the Boyer Sisters!
Sarah loves to sew, learn more about sewing, and create items with a vintage flair. Her arch enemy is clipping curves, and she has a tolerable relationship with the seam ripper.
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