Friday, May 23, 2014

The costuming bug bites

Every summer I have these grand plans about all the costumes I am going to make, and then I'm lucky if I get three done. Sometimes this is because of administrative things for the University, and sometimes it is due to my own distraction. Right now I should be building the Tudor Transitional project which has been on hold for months, or starting on the late-18th century travel outfit that was designed years ago. Instead I find myself with a strong desire to "knock out a sacque-backed gown" as if it were just that simple.

Nevertheless, I invite you to share in my distraction while I indulge in some of my favorite inspirations...

Princesse de Lamballe
This portrait of the Princesse de Lamballe is one of my favorites, with the cream lace over the soft lilac color, and the deep flounce at the hem. I go back and forth on whether or not I like the echelles-style stomacher, but the sleeves are luscious.
Speaking of sleeves, these ones from c.1760 have a really interesting lace pattern, gilt trim, and the scalloped edge that give them that wow-factor I know I'm drawn to.

I'm also drawn to this 1750s court dress, and the way the passementerie is really large at the front edges of the skirt, and then scaled back on the bodice. I'm a small woman, so large trims can overpower me if I'm not careful. Someday I will have a court dress like this, but that is not this project. Must stay focused!
It's the way the back pleats appear to hang off of the neckline trim on this 1775-80 ivory moire silk. There's a simple beauty to that which I cannot help wanting to recreate.
Finally, though this c.1780 sage gown is a different style, I think the color combination would be stunning with some taupe and gilt trim. It would also go with my sage-colored Georgianas from American Duchess.

Surely I can squeeze this project in, right? Maybe with a coordinating Bergere?


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