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Aylwen Gardiner-Garden


Aylwen Gardiner-Garden is a dress historian, historical dancer and events manager in Canberra, Australia.

Aylwen is currently conducting heritage research and studies in England, Scotland and Denmark. Highlights include:
  • a research internship - the product of which will be a book on historic garment trims from 1730-1830,
  • studies on textile conservation at the University of Glasgow, 
  • Summer intensives at the Royal School of Needlework and Hand & Lock Studios in London, 
  • 16-18th Century dress studies at the London School of Historic Dress, 
  • millinery studies at the London College of Fashion, and
  • attendance at a Summer School of 3000 years of Textiles and Fashion at the University of Copenhagen. 
She anticipates being able to share the skills, information, images and ideas acquired in this pursuit of her studies by presentations at the University of Canberra, teaching she does in the Canberra community through the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy and workshops she’ll present at the Jane Austen Festival at the Albert Hall next April as part of the ACT Heritage Festival. 

As a costumier Aylwen has studied at home and abroad for many years and her expertise is now sought after by people all around the world and has taught needlework classes in the US, UK and Germany. She has made most of the many different costumes worn for performance by the Earthly Delights musicians and dancers and assisted many others in the academy's scene in the making of theirs. She has also taken commissions from far and wide for the making of dress and millinery items of all eras. 

In September 2013 she led a historic costume & dance tour of England.  In 2014 she presented a series of fully-subscribed talks about historic clothing at the Dickson Library in the ACT. In 2015 she taught historic sewing workshops in Canada and the United States, and in 2016 was invited to teach historic sewing workshops in Germany. Please follow on to view her regularly-updated facebook page, the gallery of some of the costumes that Aylwen has made, share her learning journey on her blog, join one of the sewing classes or contact her if you wish her to make something for you or see if there are any patterns you can purchase. Aylwen is happy to discuss her special historical costume presentations suitable for museums, schools and heritage sites.

As a dancer she has been part of all of Earthly Delights's dances teaching seriesball series and dance display groups. She has also been for many years the display partner and teaching assistant of her husband John Gardiner-Garden, including most recently on their 2016 4-week dance tour of Europe, 2015 6-week dance tour of US & Canada, 2014 4-week dance tour of Italy and Germany, 2013 3-week dance tour of England, 2012 3-week dance tour of Italy,Germany & Switzerland, and their 2011 8-week 20-engagement around the world dance tour.

As a tour organiser Aylwen has organised 2 thirty-person performing tours to Queensland, an 8-week tour across the US, UK and Denmark, a 3-week tour to Switzerland, Italy and Germany, a 3-week 12-person historic costume tour of England, a historic costume & dance tour to Italy and Germany and many other out of town dance tours. 

As an Events Manager she has organised nearly 1,000 classes, dances, balls and special events over the 16 years she's been Earthly Delights administrative co-ordinator, Director of the annual Jane Austen Festival Australia since 2008, and organised all the events on the above-mentioned tours. See other pages for glimpse of past and upcoming series and events she's been involved with organising. Aylwen is happy to discuss her special historical costume presentations suitable for museums, schools and heritage sites