With the Jane Austen Festival approaching this weekend, I've finally been able to wrap things up. My gowns are done, Carson's outfit is finished, and most of our accessories are ready to go as well. After contemplating what sort of style I was going for, and looking at countless fashion plates of the era, I actually decided that the simpler it was, the better it looked on me. Here's what I've come up with:
I've been hesitant to wear caps up to this point....they just seem so matronly to me. But (having finally ...I think... come to terms with my age and marital status), I've finally given in to what would have been in fashion for a
32 (umm...lost my mind there for a second) 31 year old married woman of the day. And you know what... I'm kind of fond of this little cap. I think it's sweet, and endearing. It was a relatively painless transition after all.
I've decided to wear a bergere on Saturday, tied simply with a bit of silk organza. I wanted something that would shade my face well, and keep me cool. This will certainly do the trick. I just hope it isn't too windy, or I might lose my hat. (I do have a hat pin.)
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One of many fashion plates of inspiration for my bergere hat.
I'm planning on wearing the capote that I made last year, but will be wearing it on Sunday, when I will be volunteering at the festival. So, after doing it up, and then re-doing it about a million times, I finally just decided on something really simple. I don't want to have to worry about flopping feathers, excess ribbons whipping around, or flowers sprouting off the top of my hat while I'm trying to serve the people at the festival.
Here's a back shot...it's vintage ribbon layered to look like a simple bow. I might add another ribbon to tie under my chin, or use a small hat pin to hold it onto my head, but other than that...It's good to go.
Please forgive my hair in this shot. I know it's a mess, and well, the silk ribbon isn't all that carefully placed in their either. I really just mussed it up for the picture to give you a simple impression of what I plan to do with my hair for the grand ball. Originally I was going to wear a turban, but it just looked to fussy and exotic on me. I wasn't please with the look. So, instead, I'm going for the ever popular Grecian or Roman inspired look, with a few feathers stuck in for fun. Simple, but elegant. It will be styled better on the day of the ball...promise.
One of the neo-classical inspirations for my bandeau.
I'm taking a reticule to carry all of my valuables in. I used a bit of scrap silk, left over from my robe, to make it. It's not very fancy, and I have to say that my embroidery hand work isn't the greatest, but at least the reticule is functional. I got the design for the embroidery off of THIS V&A page.
These fingerless gloves were made by me last year, and will be reused this year for daytime wear. They are made of cool, light weight linen. Love that.
I also will be bringing these... they are hand sewn, cotton, 3/4 length gloves that I recently found at a local antique store. Only $8. They are perfect for the ball. I was thinking about making a pair of elbow length kid leather gloves, but ran out of time and money....maybe next year.
Here's the fan I painted this past winter. It will definitely be in great need with the hot, humid weather we have around here during this time of year. Maybe I should practice some fan sign language?
The Parasol??? (Maybe?)
I was thinking about bringing this parasol to keep the sun off of my face. It's a bamboo and paper, oriental style parasol that I found for $3.00 at Hobby Lobby. The issue is, I know that pagoda style parasols were popular during the Georgian/Regency era, and the orient was definitely a huge inspiration to fashion at the time. I've even seen 'reenactors' holding paper parasols at past events, and I've seen ones just like it that were being sold at a Federal period market fair last year. But, were paper style parasols really 'in' during the Regency period? That's the question. I've not been able to locate any in fashion plates that have them...at least, to my untrained eye they seem to all be silk, pagoda types. There is this one from the Met collections that dates from 1800 to 1930, which basically means they have no idea yet how to date it. But also makes me think that there is a possibility that the style existed in 1800.
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I also found the above print, and while I don't think the central figure (sporting a capote like mine!) is carrying a paper parasol, I am sort of suspecting that the lady on the left IS. So, my question for all of you lovely readers out there that know a bit about the Regency period... Should I, or should I not, take the paper parasol with me?