Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jane Austen Festival 2010

The 2010 Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, KY has come and gone.  I feel like there is so much to tell, and so few words to describe all of it.  So, for the most part I will let these pictures speak for themselves.  Let's start with the picture above.  Here is the central party that I went to the festival with...including all of the outfits that I have been slaving over for the past 12 months.  On the left is Mr. and Mrs. E.  The Mrs. E. is my dear friend Laura that I constantly talk about, and consequently the author of the Janus-at-the-door blog. They have just returned from a long holiday in Great Britain....lucky ducks! 

On the right are the Mr. and Mrs. M....also known as myself and my dear husband.  

Speaking of the Mr. and Mrs. M., here we are again on the ground of the beautiful and historic Locust Grove.  The day was unbearably hot, so you will often find us in the shadow of some much welcomed trees.  I'm afraid my cute little Capote bonnet succeeded (where the heat and humidity didn't) in flattening my voluminous hair-do.

A portrait of the ladies, standing in front of one of the several merchant's shoppes of a fictitious "Meryton".  My one purchase of the day was a beautiful vintage silk shawl, of which you can see me wearing in the picture below.

Another portrait of the ladies, but this time, the picture features not only myself and Laura, but Natalie of  Zip-Zips-Vintage-Sewing-Blog (the one with the big white ostrich feather) and Polly Singer of  Hats-and-Veils , the fantastic Milliner that helped me with my bonnet.  We are all part of the "Jane Austen Sewing Society", founded by Natalie.  Two other members of our group were there, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of them. 

One highlight of the festival was a chance to tour the Locust Grove estate.  The building was circa 1790's Georgian architecture...completely period appropriate, and full of stunning rooms. 

This was one of my favorite rooms.  I would love to own such a light, ethereal bed like this.  Isn't it conducive to restful nights, and the reading of a great many novels?!

One of the benefits of the festival was people watching.  There were many fantastic displays of Regency or Georgian era outfits.

There was even a Regency Fashion show put on by the magnificent seamstress, Betsy Bashore. (She's the one in gold and green.)

And the gentleman in the back of this picture, Edward Maeder is the creator and designer of these glorious hats made specifically for the Dolly Madison documentary on PBS.

Here's one of those magnificent creations...a delicious velvet and feather turban...doesn't it look like a dessert topping!

I was afraid our gentlemen wouldn't have a good time.  After all, we did dress them up in wool and silk on a day when the temperature was creeping ever so close to 100 degrees, not to mention humidity, and forced them to attend a festival full of swooning Mr. Darcy fans.  But.....I was pleasantly surprised, as were they, at how much they enjoyed themselves.  Their egos had a bit of a boost.  They said they felt a little bit like celebrities, with people complimenting them and ladies wanting their pictures taken beside them.  (they ate it all up, really!) 

They met other gentleman, dressed in period garments. 

In fact, they met a whole host of gentlemen, called the "Hellfire Club", of which us ladies know nothing about what went on in there, nor do I think we want to know.  The doors were closed to us....


We also had a lovely tea.
The food was good, consisting of scones, croissants with chicken salad, pastries stuffed with crab, pimento cheese sandwiches, and an assortment of cakes... I had lavender-rum cake....yum.
But, I must admit, the tea itself could have been better.

Here we are enjoying the cool, air conditioned tea room.

Mr. and Mrs. E. enjoyed it too.

As the day passed into evening, we headed over to the Grand Ball at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of myself dancing, though I did dance 3 dances.  I'm hoping one of my friends got one of me.  The gentlemen, stiffly stood there for the first few minutes, trying to figure out the foreign language of English Country Dancing, but it wasn't too long before they found their courage and asked us ladies to dance.  It was quite fun...even if we did forget a turn now and then...there were lots of giggles and laughs had all around.

The outfits at the ball were fabulous!  Bold, jeweled colors, taffeta and organza, slippers and tights...it was a feast for the eyes to be sure!

People twirled and whirled all night long.

Also, I got the chance to meet a handful of ladies that are a part of the Sense and Sensibility Forum.  This gorgeous lady is Deanna, who hales from Cincinnati. Hi, ladies!  It was so nice to meet you!  I hope to see you again some time.

Over-all, the day was a success.  I'm tired as one can be after such a long day, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I'm already thinking about what to wear next year, and trying to find other festivals and events that I can go to in my area this year.  Here's to another year at the Jane Austen Festival!

To view more pictures of the event, please take a look at my Photobucket Album. 

4 comments:

Laurel Ann said...

How lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Jane said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I am SO jealous!! I was bummed out all day yesterday because I wasn't there. Next year I must definitely make it!

You all look simply marvelous. You look just like you have stepped out of a painting of the period, and Mrs. E! Oh my, she looks simply lovely! The menfolk look wonderful too.

Great job on all the sewing! I wish I could have been there but reading your blog post and seeing your pictures is almost as good. :) Thank you for sharing!

Natalie said...

The photos bring it all back, Jenni! Despite the heat, it was a lovely day. I am still recovering, putting everything away, and plotting the next dress, even if I do not begin it until January 1st :}

Hugs,

Natalie

Unclimber said...

gorgeous! I'm enjoying your posts about your Regency ensemble. I recently bought the RHF pattern for the 1812 Waistcoat which looks to be a good deal easier than the pattern you used (thank goodness!)

What pattern did you use for the frock coat? I didn't see it mentioned in the posts that I read.

Fantastic job and thanks for the posts. I'm still scared to make my husband's costume, but your posts are encouraging - thanks for sharing your experiences and insight!