Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This is How I do Homework

I have been very bad about posting. This is because I am writing a giant paper for my senior thesis and applying to graduate schools and having a dangerously large dose of REAL LIFE. I will try to be better, but here is an apology picture (or two) of me doing homework in a tiara. Because I have found that this motivates me shockingly well.
This is a new tiara, and I am pretty in love with it. It kind of reminds me of this one, worn by Princess Karoline Reuss of Greiz, shape wise. Or maybe even the one on Princess Katharina Henckle von Donnersmark, minus the massive pearl on top. I will have to wear it some time with at least that many necklaces, to really complete the effect, though.

Vienna, Day 7

The final event! I think these are all outfits I've posted on before, but we've never worn them to Vienna. Anyway, I like my sparkly gold ballgown. The hall was lovely (especially if you like statues of wrestling babies), the dinner was delicious, and everything was lovely - I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vienna, Day 6

This was the afternoon fancy event for the week, which is early 19th century. I wore a new gold regency dress and a sparkly tiara just for fun. I also did what is, in my opinion, a really cool hairstyle for mother. I like it.

But I might prefer the tiara and fur look, really.

Vienna has a great tram system, so then we got to ride on a special old tram car. It was a little cold, but really pretty.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vienna, Day 5

Shopping, pastries, and an exhibit on fans and gloves... Here are some highlights.

I love these... in Vienna, you don't just get hot dogs from a hot dog stand. You get a tasty crusty roll STABBED WITH A GIANT SPIKE and then filled with a hot dog and condiments. Oh yeah.

Tasty and pretty pastries!

Adorable yet racist petits fours!

And from the exhibit:
"Brise Fan with autographs from the ball of the Weiner Musikfreunde," 2nd half of the 19th century.

I've been seeing a lot of fans like this in portraits... small roundish fixed fans for the mid-19th century and long ostrich fixed fans for late. They are kind of weird, but distinctive. I think I want one. I should probably figure out a handle, since I have some appropriate ostrich feathers already. With no moving parts, this would not be difficult to accomplish.

Of course, if you're going the fixed-feather-fan route, why stop at plain old ostrich?
16th century Venetian flag fan, for any readers who are interested that far back. It was pretty cool.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vienna, Day 4

We've been having more days and more classes, but I find that classes are not very good photographic opportunities. On the bright side, we did listen to Hannelore give a neat talk on the history of the Kor, a Hungarian dance we've been learning. It has a long political history linked to the history of Hungary (with the Kor being a more popular dance when Hungary was well liked, and then falling out of favor at bad political moments). Unfortunately the talk was mostly in German, so I understood very little, but I do understand pictures. These are from a book she put out on display. First of all, doesn't this look like a wild party? We've used the funny hand-on-the-head position that some of these men have for the dance in class.

Also, is this or is this not a picture of a man holding a goat which is smoking a pipe? Hilarious (though I have no reason to believe that is really what's going on).

Now this is a cool picture from 1860 of a ballroom scene, but a lot of the women are wearing fancy ballgowns inspired by Hungarian national dress. Notice the shape and lacing of the bodices, and the pretty lace aprons on the skirts. It reminds me very much of Empress Sisi's Hungarian inspired dress, don't you think?

We also had an informal evening dance party. The theme was revolution, but we just wore our earliest regency vaguely french revolution-ish dresses to make packing easy. Also I look demented in pictures, which is a shame. So instead, make sure to focus on the EXPLODING CAKE! Pyrotechnics are fun!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vienna, Day 3

We had dance class today, and a nice quiet night after that. All I really wanted to share right now is this lovely sign from the tram.
What? You didn't catch it. Here's a closer view.
Yes, this chair is reserved for pregnant women, parents with small children, the disabled, and Sigmund Freud. He lived in Vienna, you know.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Vienna, Day 2

Day two was full of walking in the frigid cold, and museums. I love museums, and my computer is currently choking on the hundreds of pictures I took in the Kunsthistorisches (Art, but we really only did the antiquities wing this time) and Heeresgeschichtliches (military history!) museum. Most of the pictures are terrible and covered with glare, so don't get too excited. In fact, I really don't have time to go through and identify all the important ones, so those detailed blog posts (on wonderfully drool-worthy delicious uniforms... covered with glare) will have to wait. For now, here is the quick run-down of the day. We started walking. Hilarious things we passed included a Rock Pub! I don't know why this is so entertaining, but it is indeed.
 We walked by this sign, which of course made me think of my friend Adrian the Maya Archaeologist.
We walked by a cake decorating shop, and the word "zucherblumen" was greatly entertaining.
"Intensive kinder mamma-baby" sounded like something crazy, but then we decided they were different types of available yoga classes.

The art museum was very grand indeed.
It has a lot of neat Egyptain stuff, but the best were the animal mummies. My favorite was the giant crocodile and baby crocodiles, but Julia really liked the monkey-in-a-monkey.
There was too much amazing art for my pictures to do it any justice. So I'll just show you my collection of ancient Greek croquet pictures. I'm sure those aren't really croquet mallets, but I had a surprising amount of fun pretending they were!
I promise pictures of uniforms later... really. Here is a really cool plane for now.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vienna, Day 1

Oh, did I forget to mention that I was going to Vienna? That's what I get for being too busy! Anyway, Mother was invited to teach at dance historian Hannelore Unfried's fantastic dance week in Vienna, Austria, and I am here to help her. Apparently every February all the people of Vienna go on vacation for the same week, and while they are all off skiing or traveling Hannelore holds her wonderful vintage dance week in the semi-deserted city. This is Mother's fifth time attending, and my third, and Julia is with us though I cannot recall how many times she has been. Right now it is 6:50 in the morning in Vienna, so they are sleeping and I cannot ask, but it is also 12:50 AM in Boston. I don't know what time will show at the bottom of this blog post, then. Anyway, stay tuned for rather better stories about Vienna and the dance week, but as of this morning I can only tell you about traveling yesterday.
Yesterday was about a million hours long. We got packed and on an evening plane in Boston, flew over to England, then changed in Heathrow to a flight for Vienna. By the time we went to sleep early in the evening in Vienna, I'd been up all night in America. At least now I'm on an early-bird-but-not-out-of-the-realm-of-possibility schedule for here. Traveling is so complicated! Anyway, my first important observation that I hoped to share is this:
Apparently, women in England wear much cuter skirts than those in America, where all the bathroom gender indicators wear ugly triangles. I much prefer the cute bell-shaped poof of a skirt. Of course, I guess the other possibility is that British women have plump bottoms. Or that the airport is just trying to be interesting (which conclusion the square toilets and retro-futuristic shuttle all conspire to support). But I think I will maintain that it is a statement on fashion.

My second observation is that traveling is terrifying. We got to Vienna and pulled two bags off the conveyor belt (because they were our bags, you know!). Then we waited for the third. And continued waiting. Then as we watched the abandoned broken-off wheel of what was once a rolling red suitcase go by for the third time, we realized that our bag was gone! At which point I started calculating exactly how many hours of sewing that bag represented, containing six ballgowns and three day dresses, plus underwear. EEK! Eventually they tracked down the bag, waiting in Heathrow for the next flight to Vienna. It should be on its way to us soon, so all is well.

My third observation is that Krapfen are magical. Upon arrival, we decided that we could not rest until we had our Krapfen for the day, because you haven't experienced Vienna until you've eaten Krapfen. They are basically just donuts, which in a world of Viennese pastry may not seem special at all, but I assure you they are. The key is that instead of being filled with a sickly sweet red jelly that could belong to any number of berries, Krapfen are filled with the most wonderful, tangy, and delicately sweet apricot filling. Delicious! Apricots are a Vienna thing, and Krapfen filled with tasty apricots are the best! These ones came from Aida, a chain of bakeries around the city, but we'll have plenty more I promise.