I feel like I have seen quite a few of these items before.
Cape vers 1890, en velours de soie noir brodé en perles de jais ton sur ton d’un grand décor floral; col pèlerine montant garni d’autruche noire à découpe festonnée.
Google says: Cape 1890, black silk velvet embroidered with jet beads tonal a large floral decoration, cape collar trimmed with black ostrich scalloped cutout.
I am in my final year studying Costume Interpretation at Wimbledon College of Art in London. In our third year we are assigned three major projects.
The first project will be displayed at the opening of ‘In Fine Style’ at The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace. More information about that project can be found in this post here. Unfortunately my first and third costumes are still not mine to share but I can happily share with you details about the second costume.
The project was called Ordinary Lives. Part of the assignment was to have this costume completed in six weeks. Unfortunately on the last day of term I started over from WWI and choose to create an 1860s mourning gown which was my very first choice in the beginning.
Why mourning you might ask? I was born in a small town in Tennessee that has direct ties to the Civil War and as a child I often came across items associated with Victorian Mourning in the antique stores. As I grew up my mother encouraged this curiosity. During my breaks when I visit my parents I work with The Woodruff-Fontaine House in Memphis, Tennessee on preserving their amazing costume collection and helping with their exhibitions. Our assignment was to find an image of an everyday person and to recreate their clothing. When I came across Miss Maggie Webber in her second stage of mourning she spoke to me.
I will be discussing the unique features on her undergarments a little later but for now you can see those images here.
All of the long stitches on Maggie’s costume were made by machine but everything else was completed by hand. I am very fond of piping which is reflected in the hand piped armbands, the swiss waist, and neckline of Maggie’s collar. The trim on Maggie’s collar is from an extant costume. According to the dealer the trim came from a shattered 1863 mourning bodice. I find it very fitting that 150 years later it will once again grace a mourning garment. The veil was done by hand and took one and a half episodes of Criminal Minds to complete. The swiss waist was a bit of a challenge simply because I ended up creating my own pattern.
In total, this costume has taken seventeen days to complete. To date I feel that it is one of my strongest pieces and I am very pleased with the outcome. Even though the life of Maggie Webber will forever be shrouded in mystery it is my hope that by recreating her gown I have made sure her memory continues on.
My 1860s mourning undergarments took a grand total of 4 days to finish. I am working on the bodice lining toile right now! I’m hoping to finish this up early next week and prepare for my final costume for the Degree Show!
Mourning Victory from the Melvin Memorial (1897) | Daniel Chester French | Met
‘ … French merged innovative technique and symbolic content in Mourning Victory, as he called the figure of the angel. She emerges from a cavity of a rectangular marble shaft, flesh from stone, darkness into light. The partial nude strides forward with hair and drapery swirling around her. The tip of a wing is visible near her knee. In one outstretched hand she holds a branch of laurel, while in the other she lifts above her head an American flag, its stars decisively rendered. This charged physical movement maintains a carefully orchestrated emotional balance with the melancholy restraint of the angel’s downcast eyes…’
French Underwear, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916
For the next theme post would you rather see Victorian-Edwardian ladies déshabillé or clothing in La couleur noire?
I apologize if this is completely wrong. I used Google Translate so that I could understand the text. Apologies!
Black court dress, Empress Elisabeth
Owner: Empress Elisabeth daughter of Maximilian of Bavaria Wittelsbach
1837 - 1898
Black court dress of Empress Elisabeth
At festive events wore ladies of the court, and at their head the Empress, dresses with trains, whose length was determined by the importance of the occasion.While these Hofkleider in the first half of the 19thCentury were mostly in bright colors was, in the early days black as very elegant.
The shown court dress of Empress Elisabeth has worked in two parts and consists of a skirt with cut and a train about to bear top with side falling waterfalls.
The carved from black silk moiré skirt on the rear center waist fixes a drapery of the same fabric that is twice bagged and filled with two large Moiréemaschen.The draping ends in a ruffle.The train is under the draping pleated and decorated the edge with Posamentriespitze and Jetperlen and with four stops.
The crafted from the same material top is reinforced with whalebone.It is closed at the front by round, covered with pearls Posamentrie and wooden buttons.The side of the closure of each peak with a waterfall and Posamentrie Jetverzierung.At the top of two downwardly tapered plastic parts are attached, the lead from the rear to the front waist center and frame the drape of the skirt.They are bordered with jetverzierter Posamentriespitze.The sleeves are decorated with sewn-shaped cuff and Musselinrüschen Posamentriespitze with Jetperlen.
In the girdle of the upper part of the company name Hofschneiderin Fanny Scheiner is woven, which could use that title since 1877.
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Carriages and Department of Court Uniforms
If my blog could collect dust bunnies I would have an impressive collection by now. I apologize for not posting a proper theme in what seems like forever. I usually don’t whinge on my blog but I am so upset and I feel like I owe everyone an explanation.
I am still flat hunting and the whole process has me in tears daily, I am so desolate I don’t even know what to do with myself. In less than three weeks I am returning to London and I have no place to even come home too. I have a huge fashion lecture in Southampton to finish preparing for, the Jane Austen ball in Bath, and a dissertation to start writing.
Words of wisdom anyone?
Ok! Message has been received! I won’t post any more shoes ;D
I’m going to be a bit busy this week so I thought I would go ahead and ask what everyone was interested in possibly seeing?
Please keep in mind that when you request something “Victorian” that means you want to see 64 years of costumes. So please for my sanity request a particular decade or style. I’m game for almost anything up until the 1920s!
When I first found this image I referred to it as the Farewell suit and about 32 seconds later I renamed it the Safe Journey suit because farewell is entirely too final.
This suit has now been lovingly dubbed the Balmoral suit because it’s the one I re-created to wear on Sunday to see the Balmoral off. I will post about the making of this costume tonight in The Mended Soul.
If you do happen to be joining us in Southampton to see the Titanic Memorial Cruise off then do stop by the market on Saturday! I will be giving two presentations on 1912 fashion. Message me for more details because I would love to say hello!
On Sunday you will find us walking around with other costumed re-enactors at the docks. When the ship sails I will most likely be the one with net pulled over her face to disguise any tears that might be streaming down my face. I fear that I will become overwrought with emotion. After 100 years she is finally going to reach her destination!
I had a very long conversation with the woman from the White Star Liner last week and we discussed the effects the sinking of the Titanic had on the community.
I usually try my hardest to avoid taking an opinion because this blog is about sharing my love of fashion, history, and costume. It’s not really about me presenting one view because I would like you to form your own opinions. That said I apologize in advance but I feel very strongly about this topic (also, I’ve had a few people write and ask what my official stance is on whether I’m for or against the Memorial Cruise!). To clarify, I am completely 110% for the Cruise.
This weekend is not meant to be sad, this is a celebration that the Titanic launched, that for a brief time she was the Queen of the Ocean. Although the MS Balmoral will be leaving one day early from Southampton (believe it or not the Balmoral can’t match the speed of the Titanic!) this weekend we are re-enacting the joy, hopes, and dreams that travelled along with the ship. Even though the Titanic did not make it to her final destination, this weekend is about the joy and beauty of seeing her off. A celebration of what she was before the disaster if you will.
I’m honored to have been invited to take part in marking this momentous occasion. There have been so many arguments made against this Cruise and so I can only hope that your worry will be assuaged after reading what my position on the purpose of the Titanic Memorial Cruise is.
During our conversation the topic of the mixed feelings from the residents of Southampton was raised. Some believe the Memorial Cruise is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the life of those who built and sailed with the Titanic. Others think that the cruise is glorifying the death of those who perished.
I disagree. The Cruise is a floating memorial. How many other disasters have been able to pierce through the pages of time and to twist your heart with sadness? (For History fans like myself who still mark the days that Anne Boleyn and Marie Antoinette were executed are not allowed to answer that question!)
This Cruise is a final requiescat in pace to those who were unable to say goodbye to the family they would never know. Relatives of survivors who grew up listening to the heartbreaking stories their families faced onboard will finally have the chance to say farewell. In their hearts they will carry the memory of the survivors, their loved ones who were never given the chance to say goodbye to the ones they lost during that perilous night one hundred years ago.
The time for sadness will be when the Balmoral reaches the wreckage and the bells toll around 2:20 am to mark the 100th year to the moment the Titanic slipped into the pages of history. The tears will freely flow into the ocean below in a cathartic release of that terrible, heart wrenching pain we’ve all felt for the past century. It is my firm belief that by finally being able to mark this moment over the final resting place of the RMS Titanic the ghosts of the past will be laid to rest.
I only wish I could see the Balmoral sail into New York. That city has been waiting 100 years for this moment and what a bittersweet arrival it will be.
This year the Balmoral will carry with her the memory of over 1,500 souls that were never able to sail into New York, many bound for a new life full of dreams and opportunities. This year they will finally reach their destination, and what a glorious sight that will be.