wp-1583769069100.jpgI want to talk about over-representation.

Over-representation is when a correct item is used or displayed more frequently then it was used in the era.

When a single correct item becomes over-represented, the interpretation of this item becomes incorrect. This can become the case for a novelty item, a specialty item, a unique fashion, a regional item, an interpretation specific item.

Over-representation tends to happen when an item is being newly reproduced, a significant improvement in a reproduced item occurs, a new piece of research becomes public, an item is artificially promoted in social media. This can also happen when only a single or small selection of particular items are produced, not giving variety to choose from.

There are several items I can think of that have been over-represented in the past twenty years. These include: ribboned hair-nets, the duffel style travel bag, the shaped over-arm travel bag, the neck bow.

It has become human nature to want the newest cool thing. I can tell you artisans appreciate your need/want to do so. We really do. Thank you.

How do we know something is being over-represented?

What do you do about avoiding over-representation?

These are the big questions I want to open up to you. (Comment below)

Do we check production numbers? Do we check tariff data? Do we check store ledgers? Do we use common sense?

Do we double pack just in case someone else already has the items we are bringing? Do we communicate ahead of time to see who is bring what as part of their interpretation? Do we focus specifically on our specialized impression? Do we minimize specialized impressions at events?


Published in: on March 9, 2020 at 11:54 am  Comments (2)  

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hmmmm, I’d never really thought about it, as Ladies like their “things”. lol But, it’s amusing that me & the Mr. were speaking of this earlier today. ( Fellas with their trousers tucked into their socks. I’ve seen soooo many men like this at our local events, but don’t see that many in the original photos. -wink-) I DO tend to go by what’s in original photos, altho there is a Serious lack of photos of deep South women. -sigh-
    I’ve also taken a page out of an acquaintance’s book, as I’m no “Young lady”, I feel I’d keep some fashions from previous years since that’s what I like/I’m used to.
    But, a lot of ladies around here Do tend to use some of the same accessories. But I kind of feel they would have, since they’re from the same area, & know one another.

  2. I think it’s one of those things that makes for a great teaching moment if you are speaking to a visitor who asks about it, and using the opportunity to point out a more common accessory that another person has reproduced nicely. “Yes, this has been documented to 186-, and appeared in ____ and ______. I am wearing it because _______. However, this shouldn’t be seen as something everybody wore all the time. A more commonly used item would have been ______, such as the lovely one Mrs. _____ is wearing.”

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