There is nothing like a dressing up challenge to get me going. As soon as I heard about New Age of Discovery, I couldn’t help but plan an outfit. Something a little Victorian but *not* historically accurate in the slightest. What liberation! So weeks and weeks ago I set out on the designing and making process, with wild ambitions about how much time I had to create something entirely new for the event. As usual with my own making, I was wildly optimistic about the time I had.
My inspiration came from the wonderfully-costumed film Vanity Fair. No problem watching it again for research purposes! Some pottering on Pinterest also showed up some wonderful stuff (although I have issues with the copyright Pinterest), including this by Charles Worth (a much-loved designer).
I even went out and bought a 1810s stays (corset) pattern so I could have suitable underpinnings. I planned a dress from a pink & gold sari, a jacket from an orange beaded Indian jacket and a decorated top hat, perching on my head.
Plans were scaled back due to the time (argh!) but not the overall ambition of the outfit!
The dress was as planned – Empire line dress from about 1810 from Patterns of Fashion but the jacket was one I already had – made for an abandoned book project. The extraordinary parasol is one I’ve had for years and was a last minute thought as I left the house. The hat I decorated in an hour before the do with the knitting needles also being a last minute inspired decision.
I hope some of the professional photos of the night will appear online so I don’t have to make do with me in the dressing room or self portrait in the loo mirror…