Monday, February 28, 2011
"Umbrella with dark blue-green cotton cover, striped with beige around edges, ivory or bone points, metal framing, baleen canopy ribs, tortoise colored crooked handle, possibly horn, brass cylindrical slide and tip, stenciled green and tan cotton drawstring case, (small dents in brass, minor stains and wear to wood handle) excellent."
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Then I started looking for further documentation. I found lots of portraits of girls with gold bands about their arms, high and at about the level of the edge of the sleeve. But most of these, I am convinced, are actually just bands of trim on the sleeve. See if you don't agree. These were dead ends for solving my mystery. In fact, I started to worry that even Mrs Otis was just wearing sleeve trim and super-sheer sleeves. After all, there are a lot of renaissance paintings where I know the woman is wearing a super-sheer chemise but I can only really tell because the very edge is slightly visible)
On the other hand, I found a couple of portraits with what might be trim, or what could really genuinely be bracelets, at that same high point but this time over sleeves instead of below them on bare arms. I can't be truly sure on these, but I feel like they are jewelry, not trim.It wasn't until I found this fashion plate (look here) that I really solved the mystery. The text for the plate says "A turban a la Greque, of pale yellow and silver, the hair in small ringlets round the face; diamond earings, and armlets, either with or without necklace. Sack dress of pale yellow, trimmed with silver, white satin shoes, and white kid gloves."Eureka! Armlets! Not bracelets, but armlets. A little further research, now that I had the name, and I am convinced that armlets were definitely a thing in the early nineteenth century. I like that the text says armlets, plural. I don't have evidence that these should be worn in pairs, and the women in the portraits are dis-obligingly in profile where we can only see one arm, but since I am used to bracelet pairs later in the century I am very comfortable with this idea. Anyway, I'm going to have to trot out a pair of cool armlets for our next regency ball (I think I have just the right pair of too-large-and-too-round-for-my-wrists bracelets in mind, even).
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
A reminder, for comparison:
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Let us just say that this gentleman was a much better ice skater than I was. In fact, let us further say that it is a total surprise I only fell dramatically once. My knee is all purple... Ow! Other highlights of the afternoon include hearing Cake on the sound system (somehow I don't think it is actually because the ice skating people read my blog... but it was a fun coincidence), and of course watching Julia's cape flip over her head and blind her - repeatedly - as she attempted to skate around in the strong winds. Those winds were REALLY strong.... there were times when I was standing still but the wind blew me across the ice until I was actually moving pretty fast. And of course, if you were already moving at a reasonable speed, the wind make that speed unreasonable.
As for what I wore, I started with my brown federal-era dress, made from a (very pretty) Past Patterns pattern. This is the same one I wore in Vienna. To make it a little more day-wear-like (i.e. less astoundingly busty), I added a make-shift fichu to the neckline. Now, remember all my lessons about how to fake the outfit by getting the silhouette as close as possible? I did not have a pelisse, but I did have this cute 1960s jacket with an artificially high waistline. I pinned the lapels up and decided to go with it. Honestly, the giant velvet buttons say Ragtime to me, not Regency, but these are details! Then to stay really warm, I added a little red caplet that I recently made, and a hat for good measure.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Time for the fashion show. Julia wore mother's yellow silk dress, and a pearl collar I made years ago but which has, I think, never been worn. Mother wore a beaded net overdress we had lying around over a seafoam silk underdress (which we started making at 11 PM the night before) and a turban (which I threw together experimentally that morning). I wore a new, fairly plain, cream colored dress with embroidery which we started during school break, but which Mother did most of the work for while I was at school. I accessorized with a necklace of gold filigree beads mother often wears, then twined a strand of similar gold filigree beads (earmarked for a different project) into my hair, then added a pair of really spiffy earrings from the Uffizi gift shop. And red boots - always the signature red boots. The hair was mostly inspired by a portrait that I included in my regency hair post - I'm not sure if she has little combs or if she did exactly the same thing as I did with the beads, but either way I think I got the right feeling going.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Regency Ice Skating Party
February 19, at 1 pm
Sponsored by: The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers
Meet us at Kendall Square Community Skating, 300 Athenaeum St (near 3rd St), Cambridge. We will be skating from 1 to 4 pm. The rink has skate rentals and hot drinks, and is reasonably priced. No pre-registration is necessary, so just come join us! For more information or answers to your questions phone CVD at (617) 819-4283, or email Query@vintagedancers.org.