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Kass McGann

MisCon 25 Guest of Honor

Founded in August 1997, Reconstructing History is one woman's dream to bring information on historic clothing to the public and make this data available worldwide.  During the past nine years, our method for achieving this goal has changed.  From selling replica clothing to sharing information on extant garments to writing instructions for beginners and posting dress diaries, Reconstructing History has grown and evolved.  We hope with each change, we have helped more people understand historic clothing and able to reconstruct their own.

My name is Kass McGann, owner and founder of Reconstructing History.

Reconstructing History has been online since August 1997. So some of you may have heard my name before. Some of you have no idea who I am. So let me tell you a little story...

In the early 90s, a friend introduced me to her quasi-medieval group. You could be from any time or place you wanted. I had been researching my family's genealogy at the time, so I chose to be from Ireland.

But when I asked people what Irish people wore in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, they told me: "Oh, just dress English but wear more green."

For the girl who cut a hole in her brand new BarbieTM Dream House "because real people don't go in through the roof!" this was an unacceptable answer. I mean, we're talking about a country famous for Aran sweaters and Donegal tweed! Surely someone knew what the Irish wore.

First thing I did was obtain a copy of Mairead Dunlevy's Dress in Ireland. I devoured it. Then I sought all the articles and books it referenced, driving my librarian friends crazy. These included books by McClintock and Walker as well as articles by Lucas and Henshall among others. I was starting to form an idea about what the Irish wore at the end of Elizabeth's reign at least. But I didn't have quite enough information to make clothing to wear to these events. (Little did I know that no one else went through the kind of crazed Odyssey that I did just to attend my first event!)

It turns out, it didn't matter. I was hooked! I'd found my calling. Within months I was at the National Museum of Ireland, getting my hands dirty with the dust of 3000 year old textiles. Soon after that, the Museum started forwarding enquires about Irish historical dress to me "because you know more about them than we do" quoth the curator at the time.

In the intervening years, I've lectured on the subject of historical clothing in Ireland, England, the US and Australia. I've published articles on specific items of historic dress as well as how-to guides for reenactors. I've spent days in the basements and backrooms of museums, and months studyi

Web site:

Scheduled Panels and Presentations:


  • Fri 6:00 - 7:00 PM, Meet Kass McGann, Great Hall (Upstairs Programming)
  • Fri 7:00 - 8:00 PM, Opening Ceremonies, Great Hall (Upstairs Programming)
  • Break Fri 8:00 - Sat 9:00
  • Sat 9:00 - 10:00 AM, What We Can Learn from Extant Medieval Garments -- the Garments, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Sat 10:00 - 11:00 AM, What We Can Learn from Extant Renaissance Garments -- the Garments, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Sat 11:00 - Noon, Ottoman Turkish Costume (16th through 18th century), The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Sat Noon - 1:00 PM, Italian Renaissance Clothing (14th through 16th century, primarily Florentine and Venetian), The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Sat 1:00 - 2:00 PM, An Overview of Japanese Clothing History -- Nara through Tokugawa (8th through 16th centuries), The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Break Sat 2:00 - Sat 4:00
  • Sat 4:00 - 5:00 PM, German Renaissance Clothing (Landsknecht and , Boardroom
  • Break Sat 5:00 - Sat 7:00
  • Sat 7:00 - 8:00 PM, Costume Contest Prep, Great Hall (Upstairs Programming)
  • Sat 8:00 - 9:00 PM, Costume Contest, Great Hall (Upstairs Programming)
  • Break Sat 9:00 - Sun 9:00
  • Sun 9:00 - 10:00 AM, What We Can Learn from Extant Medieval Garments -- the techniques, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Sun 10:00 - 11:00 AM, What We Can Learn from Extant Renaissance Garments -- the techniques, Boardroom
  • Sun 11:00 - Noon, Modern Fabric Choices for Historical Clothing, Boardroom
  • Sun Noon - 1:00 PM, Making a Replica of Historical Clothing: the Methodology, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Sun 1:00 - 2:00 PM, How Skivvies Make the Outfit, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Break Sun 2:00 - Sun 5:00
  • Sun 5:00 - 6:00 PM, Living in Historical Clothing: How to Do What You Need to Do., Boardroom
  • Break Sun 6:00 - Mon 9:00
  • Mon 9:00 - 10:00 AM, An Overview of Victorian Clothing History -- 1837 through 1901, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Mon 10:00 - 11:00 AM, Using Historical Clothing for Steampunk Outfits, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Mon 11:00 - Noon, Persian Clothing, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)
  • Mon Noon - 1:00 PM, 18th century clothing, The Dungeon (Downstairs Programming)

Note: Guest and pro biographical information may have been updated since MisCon 25.

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