Monday, April 25, 2011

Cake Concert

I've been slow at posting, mostly because I've been doing the boring college student thing. With the semester coming to a close, I have all sorts of projects, papers, and loose ends to tie up. But on Friday I did do one very cool thing. I went to a Cake concert with my very cool mother.

Their lead singer said something interesting about how he thought what was wrong with society was the disappearance of the three-four time signature. In fact, my own theory was that the disappearance of hats was going to lead to the downfall of society, but in fact the majority of the band members wore hats, so perhaps I have been worrying for nothing. Fascinating. So, in an effort to jump-start society, listen to a lovely waltz by Cake.

Monday, April 18, 2011

1830 Fancy Dress Mystery

This is an 1830 La Belle Assemblee fashion plate. It clearly states that these are fancy dress outfits (and indeed, I would believe nothing else). BUT WHAT ARE THEY? Gosh, I wish I knew. What do you think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hat of Grapes

I have finally gotten around to watching Downton Abbey. I've heard incredible things about the hats, so I was watching for them. In fact, there was not one hat that I adored or that particularly inspired me, but I do love the variety and quantity of them. One hat that struck me in particular is this one, not because I think it is pretty (or even un-stupid), but because it reminds me very much of an original in the Met costume collection. See for yourself.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fire in Lionel Digby's Storehouse

I have a confession to make. I have not yet watched Downton Abbey (although I do intend to). I also have not seen The King's Speech. But I have just discovered a terrible horrible thing. Apparently the warehouse where the gorgeous clothing for these, and other, productions was destroyed in an arson attack. This is so miserable. Read an article about the tragedy here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nikolai Rostov's Hussar Uniform (War and Peace, 2007)

I have developed a serious thing for Hussar uniforms. Totally spiffy and dripping with gold braid, these just look so cool! The problem, of course, is that I can look at a woman's dress in a movie and evaluate its historical accuracy, but with uniforms I have no idea. In fact, if anyone has good sources for information I'd love to know. I am sure there are people out there who really really know their stuff when it comes to uniforms. From a totally ignorant but aesthetically appreciative point of view, I have been particularly admiring Nikolai Rostov in the 2005 War and Peace. Wow.

First he wears he puts on a shirt and pants (with braces). Look how high up those pants go.
Notice that he wears a black neckcloth with his uniform (and a really spiffy collar on that white shirt). That is the kind of thing I would never have anticipated. I wonder if it is actually accurate. For that matter, I wonder what this whole uniform is based on.
Now there's the dolman, his actual jacket. Look at the braid! Check out the buttons! And it has a cute little tail in the back.
Over that, a pelisse. You can see that when he is on campaign in the cold (Russia in winter), he wears the pelisse over his dolman and closes it. But in a much more spiffy and rakish fashion, he usually wears it slung over his left shoulder. I love it!
Then there are the accessories, of course. I have no idea what's going on with the sash, but I wish I did. The hat is... wow. With the scales and the tassel and the rosette... I love it! And he has a little satchel (apparently you call it a reticule... I'm having trouble with all the overlap in women's clothing and men's uniform terms: reticule, dolman, pelisse!). So spiffy!
And of course, I might prefer it in red. I'm not at all sure! Look at those boots, though. Beautiful gold tassles on Hessian boots. Does anyone know where to get Hessian boots?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

White Uniforms and Tchaikovsky

I love these uniforms, and I love this music. I wish I knew more about men's military uniforms - if anyone knows more than I do, please please tell me! I absolutely love the red-lined tails on Prince Andrei's smashing uniform in War and Peace (the 2007 miniseries). I adore the shape of the jacket and the trousers with a red stripe on Count Vronsky's uniform in Anna Karenina (the 1997 movie). I also love the Tchaikovsky Swan Lake music. It is so sweeping and romantic (and in a movie, nobody gives you dirty looks for throwing in irritating retards that trip up ballroom dancers). By the way, I am putting these up because they are pretty, not because I condone the dancing. Don't even think about that. Just admire the pretty music and the gorgeous uniforms (although who knows if I would still like them if I knew more about men's uniforms - but if they are wrong, ignorance is bliss, because they look so pretty! Epaulettes!).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cabinet Card Gypsies

These come from a wordpress blog called "The Cabinet Card Gallery," which actually has bunches of really cute cabinet cards. But here are two cute gypsy pictures, since we're looking at gypsies and gypsy costumes for La Traviata Ball (see more gypsies here, here, here, and here). I love those gypsy girls! They are adorable! Does anyone know where I can get a tambourine?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crazy Ribbon and Cross Necklace

First I found this cool La Belle Assemblee fashion plate of a girl in an armlet, with this super-funky necklace. It looks like a ribbon loop, joined at a heart, with a hanging ribbon and a cross at the end. Weird and interesting. Then I found another fashion plate from the next month, with the same odd necklace. I thought that perhaps it was just a weird July-August of 1825 trend. But then I found another necklace that looks really similar from July 1829. So... cool! I guess if I find a big cross I should make one some time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

An 1825 Armlet

Ooh, look! Another armlet! This is a 1925 La Belle Assemblee fashion plate, thanks to the Los Angles Public Library. They have an incredible database available for you to check out. I wonder how popular armlets were and how long they were around for. Interestingly, this one appears to be to be a single armlet, but she is also wearing a pair of bracelets. Interesting interesting. I always feel like bracelets should come in pairs, so I was all ready to believe the same of armlets, but I guess it is more complex an issue than that. Also, that is one seriously fascinating necklace. This girl has got some wild taste in jewelry.If you are behind on the armlet saga, check out this post.