Sunday, 16 September 2012

Skirt and spencer jacket, 1823

Let me show you my interpretation of the elegant ensemble from the V&A museum, London.
Although the museum one consists of dress and jacket, my outfit is made in two pieces - a skirt held up with braces and a spencer, cause I really have no need in such dress on its own and I had just 5 yards of this amazing silk. 

My carriage dress made from pink silk with stripes and light yellow geometric design on them.
The matching jacket has a turned down collar, short sleeves and long sleeves arranged in puffs which diminish slightly towards the wrist. It has an attached belt trimmed with loops and a silk waist ribbon. The details of trimming on the skirt and jacket bodice are lined with cotton.

The gown is remarkable for the quality and variety of its faced and applied decoration. There are faced slits which stiffen the collar, folds along the sleeves, small straps, decorated with satin cord and a deep scalloped silk taffeta border with a padded hem.

Nice option - this jacket is suitable for other occasions and can be worn on its own as a spencer.

And few words about my new tall 1820's bonnet in a deep purple colour.
All pieces is hand sewn from theatrical buckram (it was really hard to find some here in Moscow...) and covered with silk satin in a deep purple colour. 
It's decorated with silk satin ribbons, hand sewn satin flowers and white plumes. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Katharina von Westphalen’s riding habit, ca.1810

Wonderful Christmas holidays helped me to gain strength and begin the long-awaited project - a new chic riding habit to the “200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo”. Of course, there is still plenty of time before , but I can’t wait, especially when there is a long free week)

The dark blue velvet Katharina von Westphalen’s riding habit is one of the most elegant empire gown I ever see. 

I’d found some information about the painter and the picture itself:
"Fréderique-Catherine de Wurtemberg (1782-1835), reine de Westphalie" in front of the castle Wilhemshôhe, by  Antoine-Jean Gros, Baron (1771-1835).  There was no clear dating,  but we can see the similar gown on the painting of  1819 “Embarquement de la Duchesse d'Angoulême à Pauillac” by Antoine-Jean Gros. So it should be the end of 1810s, I think. 
The military-inspired spencer show much taste and originality: it trimmed with golden cords, covered with ermine fur and has a wide belt with jeweled buckle decorated with golden and silver braids.  The habit skirt has a train with ermine fur and rich gold embroidery on the hem that ensured the legs were completely covered when riding side saddle.
The cap is also composed of velvet. It pays homage to male costume, but just as well adds decidedly feminine with silver and gold embroidery in the form of a crown and plume.

I'd supposed to create an exact copy of this incredible dress, but then change my mined and finally it'll change the color. 

The pattern is ready, now it is time to start the spencer)
In the following weeks I’ll have a fascinating job
with the fur (never before worked with it, so it would be fun), braiding cords and (!) many-many-many square inches of gold embroidery.

So, let the project begin, and I'll share the few years)