costumes · sarah vs. the 18th century

I’m done?

Wow, the end of the semester finally happened and I have turned in all of my papers as of noon today.  I’m still kind of in shock.  I haven’t talked much about the craziness that has been the last three months on this here blog, because honestly this isn’t the place for that… Just take my word for it: This semester chewed me up and spit me out.  But I finished and I have a paper I’m rather proud of and a starting place my thesis research, so all’s well that ends well!

So now what do I do with myself?

Fortunately, I’ve got a TON of stuff in the upcomming months to keep me busy.  One of the things on the immediate horizon is the West Kingdom Arts & Sciences Tourney, at which I will be teaching a class on women’s Florentine dress from 1560-1580.  I’m pretty limited at this site as far as what I can do (it’s outdoors, so no PowerPoint/slides) so this class will be more challenging for me than otherwise, because I rely so heavily on slide images for visual aid.  But I’ll figure something out!

Alessandro Allori, "Study of a woman with a tray", c. 1570-80.

While I’m trying to figure out how to do an image intensive class without images, I’m working on a few new accessories to go with an outfit I made a while back.  The image to the left is what the outfit will be based on.  Cute, no?  It makes me happy to see her wearing her pocket on the outside of the gown… I don’t know why.  It just does. 🙂

Anyway, that’s all I have for now.  Ciao!

No wait! I have more!  I’ve spent the last hour digging through my unfinished projects boxes and realized I have the basis for one of the outfits I need for next month’s Evening At The Petite Trianon GBACG event.  Yours truly is portraying Marie Antoinette* and while I have many fabulous 18th c. gowns, I really don’t have anything particularly worth of MA, if you know what I mean?  But what I do have is a gown I started, geez, back in 2006? that I never finished.  It’s pale blue silk taffeta and it’s got an en fourreau pleated back, but I’m toying with the idea of making it a zone front gown (or whatever the kids are calling them these days… Too tired right now to use more accurate terminology).

I found a handful of images that are inspirational, but then I came across this beauty:

Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, "Portrait of a lady", 1789. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Crap!  There goes my desire to finish the blue gown!  Let me see, I have a white semi-sheer silk with gold dots, several yards of burgundy silk velvet, and I *really* want a giant freaking turban on my head.   It’s SO perfect!

Ok, NOW I’m done rambling about costumes.  Ciao, for reals this time!

* I suspect it’s not so much because I’d make a really good Marie Antoinette, but because I come equipped with a boyfriend who is thrilled to get the chance to dress up like Count Fersen and spend the whole night flirting with all the ladies. It’s cool though! I get to play the queen! 😉

6 thoughts on “I’m done?

  1. Yay for surviving the first semester! Go drink something pink.

    I love that drawing — I’ve never seen it before. (adds it to the list of Florentine Pocket images).

    What’s your thesis topic if you don’t mind sharing?

    1. I had to dig up the $800 catalog raisonne on Allori in order to find this sketch. It’s apparently housed in one of the collections at the Uffizi, but whether or not it is actually available for viewing is another thing.

      And my thesis topic is going to examine the self portraits of neoclassical women artists who portray themselves wearing the chemise a la reine. There’s a lot more to it than just that, but that’s the simple description so far!

      1. That sounds so interesting! It was a favorite “topic!”

        I love catalogs like that. I spent so much time in the stacks when I was in Grad School. I *really* miss a good college library!

  2. Well done on getting all your assignments done. Do send over some of that energy to me. I have till the 17th to get all mine finished and handed in!

    Love that drawing. Its gorgeous. So much detail. She has an apron which is lace edged and buttoned cuffs. I could spend ages studying her.

    And its good to be Queen! You’ll look fabulous whatever you make.



    1. One thing I’m wavering on is her partlet… Part of me wants to believe it’s the usual white linen partlet w/ attached ruff that’s generally worn under the bodice, but she’s wearing it over the bodice. But there’s a part of me that wants to believe that it’s a separate partlet, perhaps a colored wool, that’s worn over… I don’t know which one to go with! I think the separate wool partlet would be more of a Flemish/French/English thing than an Italian thing, but I’m kind of gravitating towards it anyway.

      What do you think?

  3. That Allori sketch is really interesting — thanks for posting it!

    I like both of your MA ideas. I’d been thinking I’d be wearing the Maja dress, but Trystan pointed out that it’s not very Polignac, so now I’m trying to figure out what to wear instead!

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