At first I was considering posting a Green with Envy and Seeing Red theme but after spending half my day trying to just get home I’ve changed my mind. What was supposed to be a quick 38 minute train ride back from Uni evolved into a 3 hour and 26 minute tour of South West London and Kingston. To celebrate how much fun I had today I have a new theme which was inspired by the invisible snow we received last night.
Both of these costumes are courtesy of the Met.
When I started this costume a week ago I channeled the theme Starry Starry Night. My mom sent me two different types of fabric but I felt a deeper connection with the blue and I think that was reflected in the way the costume came together.
The bodice was draped entirely on the stand. The hardest part of this period is that there really isn’t a wide selection of patterns available.
Unfortunately I only had a little under a yard and a half of 54” fabric and with some very smart cutting I managed a trained skirt with almost no scrap fabric left over.
For the skirt I altered the Thornton’s pattern I used for all my skirts I wore in my 1912 fashion lectures for the Titanic Memorial Cruise which can be found here .When I danced I pinned the train up under the triangular panel of my skirt. Otherwise it would have been impossible to dance!
There was about a 5” selvedge edge that was plain so I ended up staying up for the better part of two nights stitching what I lovingly called a constellation design onto the sleeves. I wasn’t able to take a photo but on the drape the crosses near my heart I did stitch an actual constellation. I’m not sure if anyone remembers the post I wrote about the connection I have with Orion but it can be found here.
And as a first class passenger I made sure all my jewelry carried on the theme of the Stars. The crescent moon is from 1912 so I felt very special wearing it! (See! I did put that box to good use).
Sadly I didn’t take any making photos. This gown was mostly made in the early hours of the morning after I had finished working on my University work. I will still update The Mended Soul but for now this is all I have to share!
Edit: The train pinned up during the Mississippi Cakewalk
Attributed to Charles James
The Met says: Charles James produced some of the most memorable garments ever made. He began his design career in the 1930s. It peaked between the late 1940s and mid- 1950s, when his scarce and highly original gowns were sought after by society’s most prominent women. Personally draping and constructing the garments that bear his label, he is considered to be the only American to work in the true couture tradition. James saw himself as an artist and sculptor of dress rather than a dressmaker. He manipulated fabrics into dramatic shapes using complex seaming and sometimes complicated understructures to create his singular vision of timeless elegance. A master of the relationship between form, color and texture, he often heightened the drama of his evening wear by combining several like fabrics of different colors, or different fabrics in like colors but with different light reflective qualities. Also a perfectionist, he worked for years on refining certain seam lines, shapes and constructs that particularly expressed his vision of artistry through rigorous engineering. Many of his pieces are conceived asymmetrically and possess a sense of movement and vitality that is a signature characteristic of his work. Many historical references in shapes and construction, especially the drapery forms of the 1870s and early teens, are also prevalent throughout his work.