Last autumn we were asked to participate in an 18th century event at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum. it was a fairly generic do, the first of many more to come hopefully, as the place is steeped in history and boasts not only lovely interiors but also rather spectacular gadens. I agreed to provide a few dresses for the display, and, accompanied by my hubby, to interract with the public.
The dresses to go on display were 3 items from 1770-85: a robe anglaise, a polonaise and a riding habit. I had a nice francaise too, but it got sold and now lives with a lovely lady in Paris!
The other frocks:
All that meant that I needed something new to wear…
And since Lucas agreed to entertain the visitors with tales of his daring deeds as Scarlet Pimpernel, I became Lady Margueritte Blackney – and the lady needed a travelling outfit suitable for autumnal temperatures and comfortable to wear.
It was an easy choice – I have always loved the simple elegance of the redingotes and the one in LACMA has been on my to do list for ages.
And since it just happened that a suitable fabric was living in my closet for a while, I set to it – I had 2 days to make the redingote and the muslin petticoat, and two days to get my Scarlet Pimpernel a waistcoat and a coat suitable for his role.
On the day, it was rather brisk – so the travelling outfits were a blessing – even though we were inside. The rest of the team was getting ready; we were joined by lovely Julia Gant and her team from the 4and20blackbirds and Eleanor from The Guild of Historical Interpreters.
The event was lovely – not crowded, but with lots of interesting people popping by for a chat – and it was a real pleasure to discuss history,its military, social and costuming issues. The contrast between our 1790 outfits and the earlier focks on display provided a valued starting point to a discussion to all the social changes the French Revolution brought about. so a very interesting day!
In the meantime Eleanor was showing the kids how to decorate fans – and I also had a go at cutting out silhuettes:-).
Scarlet Pimpernel was not as elusive as he is supposed to be ( though he did suggest that the best way to re-enact him would be not to turn up at all so that we send the folks looking for him…)
The lunch was a rather yummy affair, beautifully presented and tasted as well as it looked!
Altogheter, a great day’s fun, informative and entartaining! and of course, rather pleased with the way the redingote turned out 0 i did amend the front slightly later on, but happy with the first attempt!