2013 in pictures

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New Year’s Eve party – by White Mischief

exactly what is says in the title Р a collection of what was happening here in the last 12 months! enjoy Рand- Have a lovely New Year!

 

the first event of the year – Katherine of Aragon festival in Peterborough…

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from our Winter Bride collection, shot in January

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Prior Engagement team at the EWE in Birmingham

 

 

 

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Dianas of the Chase point to point race – sidesaddle…

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Easter in Devon: running ..

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and hunting – the coldest ever!

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and shooting bridal frocks in St. Audries Park – where we got married in October 2011!. good memories:-)

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then it was time for the Spring Bride Collection…

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in April, we organised a big ball – Spectacular Spectacular, in Pinewood studios…

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May was busy – here at a Georgian picnic

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doing a Victorian Striptease inn Dragon Hall in Norwich…

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entertaining Queen V at Leighton House

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June – being a bit silly at a bridal shoot for Events in The Box and Mockford Photography… alas that gown suffered in the recent fire:-(

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at the Heritage Festival in Peterborough, in June…

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July – Kelmarsh festival, building a bed in the tent…. ūüôā

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and sweating buckets in Regency gear at Hereford…

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went to our first Steampunk markets that summer too – here in CambridgeImageand Stamford

we shoot our Steampunk Amazones in August too: part 1, in Yorkshire and part 2 in Thurleigh

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¬†and did a Summer Bride shoot too…

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one of the Summer Brides dresses…

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September – at Steampunk Asylum, here just before the fashion show…

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and at the market:-)

more markets followed – ILHF and TORM

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please, please, can i have some more fabric????

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sometimes the markets were busy – sometimes – not so much….

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we did some crazy things in October….

in November we also shot the Autumn Bride

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alas most, if not all of the Autumn bride dresses were damage in the garage fire….. including this one….

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we spent 6 evenings working in Aston Hall with Black Knight Historical…Imageand returned thee to film Regency Christmas ¬†for NBC – the resulting feature can be viewed here:¬†

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we snapped a few pictures making the best of the spectacular autumnal colouring…

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and being silly at a Christmas Market at Stoke Rochford…

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and enjoying working at Holkham Hall for two very busy weekends…

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and seeing Christmas in London, celebrating my last outfit for the year – a mixture of late Victorian and modern:-)

 Over the year we also enjoyed a few good Stitch and Bitch sessions with Julia from Sew Curvy Рit is great to have friends you can work side by side with Рrather rare for me, so thanks Julia for your friendship!

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good times!

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looking classy even at work…

Alas the year didn’t end on a good note – we had a garage fire on the 28th – in which most of my stock, fabrics, dresses etc was damaged.. ūüė¶ lots of private re-enactment , camping and sport equipment also vanished:-( still, we were ¬†insured, so hoping some of it can be rebuilt – it will take a while though! ūüė¶

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fire started in the evening – faulty socket is to blame…. here the fire is over, just trying to get rid of the fumes..

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the wardrobe where the dresses used to be….

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mind you, some of the charred, sticky, smelly items may have just one more chance to take to the stage – we plan a postapocalyptic shoot… it is not everyday ¬†you have a beautifully charred wall in your garage, is it?

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¬† and so – ¬†that’s it – goodbye 2013, welcome 2014! bad or good, it will no doubt be interesting – Happy New Year everyone!

Looking the Part 2. Make up and Hair

¬† Right, now you have that perfect dress and silhouette, supported by all the correct underwear (as covered in part 1 here), the next step is the face and hair. ¬†It is not much, you may think, but do not … Continue reading

Candlelight Nights in Aston Hall

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 Aston Hall hosts  Candlelit tours for 6 nights in November Рand this year  Prior Attire was there for a ride!  The working team was put together by the industrious Black Knight Historical, and each evening we were there, from 6 to 9 ( or later), performing our roles Рpeople from the household,  circa 1640, preparing for Christmas. each of us had a station, props, agreed talks etc, and we entertained the visitors Рchatting about the life during the English Civil War,  Christmas customs, food, clothes etc.

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Lucas sporting his new kit made especially for the occasion

 I was sat with Gini, in the gallery, working diligently on my bobbin lace, whereas Gini was sewing away, trying to see something in the candlelight Рfortunately  our loupes de dentellieres ( water lens)  were a great help Рand they did attract a lot of attention too!

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 A bit further on, Lucas was in his element, as a physician Рa bit of naturalist, early scientist and some astronomy thrown together, the talk was all about horoscopes, symptoms, humours, cures, bloodletting and urine sampling Рgreat fun:-)

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what ails you, madam? let me know your date and time of birth and i shall soon come up with the best cure!

Other characters included kitchen staff, servants, soldiers, musicians,nobles, scribes etc – and ¬†Lucas managed to run around and take a few shots before the public came in one day… enjoy!

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young recruit…

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musicians, in Elizabethan gear, cannot keep up with the fashions:-)

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Gini and Andy, as house servants – Gini as a sempstress and Andy getting the greenery ready for decoration the house, here caught just before leaving for their posts

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no one was idle…

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looking pensive…

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Julia and Molly – and Molly was a firm favourite with the public!

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Ian keeping an eye on everything:-)

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The 6 nights were  full of work, talk and enjoyment Рfor both us and the public:-) the Hall was superb and attracted huge crowds Рthere were a few good thousands people going through the building over the duration of the event!

Many thanks to Black Knight Historical for providing us with the opportunity to work there for 6 magical evenings!

Victorian Christmas at Holkham Hall 2013

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Ooops, we did it again:-). And yes, indeed Prior Attire was again hired to provide costumed interpretation at this stunning venue.  It was our fourth time at Holkham Hall, and a third Christmas ( previous events are covered here), and each of the events was organised by Black Knight Historical, employing a range of Victorian characters and interpreters Р visitors were greeted  on the gate by  period characters,  in the kitchens maids, cook and housekeeper were busy preparing Christmas dishes, whereas upstairs  a variety of genteel folk would entertain the visitors with tales about the house, Victorian customs, etiquette and  current fashions.

  Outside, there was a lot of entertainments Р swings, carousels, carriage rides, Christmas market, stalls with food, mulled wine, and a lovely restaurant.

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One Sunday we managed to snatch a ride and arrived at the house in style despite the strong wind.

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in the compound at the end of the day

The house interiors were simply stunning. You will probably recognize the Hall from the film The Duchess, and I bet Georgiana would appreciate its festive decor.  Each year the decorations in every room are different, and theme changes every year too. This time it was the Fairy land Рa very whimsical, Lewis Carol-like wonderland , with live Fairies, footmen dressed as animals etc.

We spent 2 weekends working in those sumptuous surroundings – ¬†and although the interacting with about 1000 visitors a day is not for the fainthearted ( or those with laryngitis), it was great fun to meet so many interesting people and talk on so many fascinating topics. The most popular were: Victorian toys and their manufacture, ¬†dress and clothing ¬†( especially children’s items) ¬†Victorian Christmas traditions ( which carols were sung, Christmas cards, food,) pastimes and etiquette – as always the language of the fan was a popular theme; Victorian technology and inventions, railway, ¬†electricity; social structure, manners and dancing – ¬†so a very wide choice of topics! I realized that apart from good old English, I also talked in French, Spanish and even managed a bit of Mandarin! very exciting.

Alas, since we were working and in character all the time when visitors were around, we couldn’t take any photos ¬†during working hours – but we did snap a lot before the Hall was open to the public – so enjoy the small virtual tour below!

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very jolly!

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the gigantic Christmas tree in the front room

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trying to talk our way into the Santa’s grotto… failed miserably, the guard was to diligent…

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stunning tree in the Faery bedroomImage

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someone has had too many mince pies, it seems…

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High Octave ( hope i remember the name well) gave several amazing performances

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there was also something less conventional to unwrap on Christmas day…

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the whole South Dining room was converted into a paradise for gingerbread men…

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gingerbread folk having fun in a bubble bath

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or skating….

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there was a wooded Winter Wonderland with moving animals…

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including a bowing unicorn

 

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and those who wanted to snatch a mince pie suffered for it…LJP_9392

In the evenings we stayed in the cottage and relaxed, saving our vocal cords….

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or worked on clothes – fabric arriving late meant Eleanor’s new frock was being finished on Saturday evening….

But all was done in time and the next morning lovely photos of Eleanor in her new finery were taken

 

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and finally wearing her reversible dolman on the other side…

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Lucas at work…

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alas, i wasn’t allowed to unpack any of the prezzies….

  Well,  all those above were just a taste of the attractions Рwe are already wondering what new and different visual feast will  Lady Coke be preparing for the next year  Рno doubt  something equally spectacular!  If you live nearby, make sure you visit Рit truly is an unforgettable experience! The house is open to visitors not only during Christmas Рso do check their events diary!

Many thanks to Black Knight Historical and the Holkham Hall Team for all their hard work!

 

Looking the Part 1: Undergarments

¬†OK, so I have been in the business for a while. ¬†I have been re-enacting even longer – ¬†my first gig was in 1997 if I remember well, and I got into costume making almost straight away. True, I was … Continue reading

Impromptu Autumnal Shoot

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¬† Well, I do love autumn – it is by far my favourite season – not too cold, not too hot, stunning, ever changing colours, varied weather… Love it. And one day ¬†coming back from a hack in the fields around Thureigh Equestrian Centre, I was struck ¬†by the mesmerizing quality of light ¬†sifting through the yellow gold leaves ¬†of the birches in the compound. Dreamy and magical. ¬†And so, having obtained permission for a few quick snaps from the owner, I decided to have a quick shoot in a a few hours time – true, the light would be changed a bit, but since Lucas was not available till ¬†the afternoon, I had to wait. No photographer, no fun.

¬†I used the ¬†time wisely – had a rummage through my own historical costume wardrobe, the bridal samples and the stock items and ¬†quickly cobbled an outfit together. ¬†I didn’t want a historically correct shoot – but a fantasy one, combining different elements together, simply having a play:-) After an hour of mixing and matching i had the following motley ready:

 1. 12th century bridal gown in silk satin, a sample Рtoo small for me really, but could just put it on and simply not lace the sides.

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2. an Edwardian style corset I wore for the New Year’ s Eve last year – ¬†satin and brocade creation, with about 500 freshwater pearls

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3. a long red wig I used for the Spirit of Autumn  Leaf dress project

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 4.a silver wire tiara, elven style

¬†Quick make up, and I was ready. Seconds before we left I grabbed my harp and a medieval chair and Lucas grabbed a staff… props are good.

 We arrived at the centre and yes, the light was different, much lower, so the blazing glory of gold was slightly subdues, more nostalgic. Still Рvery pretty.

¬†It was time to have some fun – ¬†for Lucas it was the ¬†composition of each shoot, the light etc – for me – it was trying to hide my wellies. ¬†Yes, forgot nice shoes…

 First sitting  shoots with the harp.  We had a bonus sensory experience  Рthe gentle breeze stroke the strings and the harp sang by itself. rather cute!

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you can almost see the wellies….

Then I was handed the staff and we had some fun pretending I was Gandalf on the bridge of Khazad Dum. Minus the beard and the pointy hat.

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¬† We were almost about to leave but we decided to take a few more shots on the other side of the paddock – there is rather delightful birch alley that was just too tempting….

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alas, the wellies have made an appearance here… ūüė¶

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I am an angel! Ha! as if…

Needless to say the residents started to get interested at that point. First a pony trotted over so see what all that fuss was about…

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Don’t be deceived by that innocent smiling face – ¬†at that point he was deciding whether the pearls on the corset are edible…

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and then decided to go for it. His clever ploy was avoided with an adroit maneuver and the pearls survived.

 Then a distinct sound of galloping horses was heard Рit was only Blackie and Elgar running across the paddock,  no doubt eager for another apple РI gave Elgar one in the morning  after our hack and he was obviously hoping for seconds. No luck thins time, boys!

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  Then it was time to pack up and go  Рthough I did manage to sneak a few restive moments on the bench!

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Yep, wellies fully exposed here….

Shortly after I was freed from the clothes and wrapped warm ( it was rather cold….) and we ¬†got back home – me back to stitching, Lucas – to editing the pictures!

Many thanks to Beth from the Centre  for allowing us to use the premises!

Steampunk Asylum, Lincoln, September 2013

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   Our first Asylum. The biggest Steampunk event of the Year Рand what an event it was! We were there mostly as traders, selling Steampunk and Victorian themed articles of clothing to fellow Steampunks Рbut we also managed to  go to the ball and take part in the Fashion show.

  We arrived on Friday,  staying in a hotel conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the centre of Lincoln. On arrival we had just about half an hour to  unpack and then deliver all our bits for the fashion show Рalmost across the street!

 The Fashion Show.

  Prior Attire  was participating in two parts of the show Рfirst part was mostly historical costume Рand here we showcased a 1877 poloniase ( modeled by lovely Jill) and a 1883 evening gown in pink silk ( modeled by Sandi) and 3  riding habits Р1785, 1810 and 1885 Рforming a nice bridge with our Steampunk collection to be shown in the second part РThe Steampunk Amazones. Lucas was drafted to do the commentary, so both of us were busy ! the habits were modeled by Anett, Adrienne and me.  you can view  the habits in this post

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getting ready…

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Sandi modeling our evening wear…

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almst there – all of the models, some of them in Steampunk bits, some in historical habits . Natasha, Jill, Mercedes, Rogue, Anett and Adrianne. And Lucas, with all the pretty girls!

The show started – first the historical part…

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1885 habit

then a quick change into the steampunk gear and the Amazones were parading on the catwalk

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just before… girls having fun with props..

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lots of fun….

 Alas, with me supervising the attire and modelling, and Lucas commentating, neither of us was able to take photos of the show:-(  but dont worry, you can see the collections here and here, and i will add the official pictures once they make their way over to me.

 I also regret not being able to take photo of the other designers  there were some truly spectacular  designs, clothes, hairdos etc around Рvery, very varied, and very very impressive!

 After the show, things were packed up, showed into the car Рand we could at last relax Рand more importantly, eat something! we found a fantastic little Mexican restaurant jut next to the venue, so without much ado we  got in and tucked in Рand the food was amazing!

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looks good, tastes even better – at Tequila’s

 not only the food was good Рthe music was superb and since we were the last customers, we even got to dance a couple of salsa tracks and a merengue Рwith some of the stuff joining in. i bet it must have looked pretty weird, Mr. Darcy spinning the Ringmistress around, but it was fun!

 Next day = the market! we were at Westgate centre, all set up by 10 and ready to trade .

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fascinators and corsets on this side….

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and skirts, bloomers and jackets on this….

 there were loads of interesting  stands and people around Рand this time we did manage to take a few pictures!

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Kate turned out sporting one of our skirts – customized with her own fabric to match the corset

After a very busy day we had just enough time to get back to the hotel, get changed and to head for the ball…

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¬†the ball started with drinks and food, very welcome after all that work – but alas it disappointed on the dancing front. we did manage to find a few tunes on the dj’s list and ¬†the name of the ball was saved by having a couple of slow waltzes – and a few couples did join us on the dance floor. alas, about 4 waltzes was all we had and after that music turned to bland pop and nobody danced at all. fortunately, the remaining entertainment was great -especially when the unmissable Professor Elemental appeared on the podium – the whole room vibrated with the rhythm of his chap-hop, and the lyrics were great. for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure yet – check his site…http://www.professorelemental.com/home

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  Next day saw us trading in our Neobedouin guise ( thanks to Navigatrix for the pic!)

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 and again,  we were busy chatting to all the folks, selling and buying things. alas, being stuck at the stall, we missed out on all the other events going  on in other places Рthe dirigible races, parades etc.

¬† Altogether, a smashing event – if you are interested in attending next year, her’s the link –¬†http://steampunk.synthasite.com/

 and if you need clothing Рwell, the have put the remainder of the stock on ale in our etsy shop Рhave a browse!

The Autumn Bride Collection – The Dresses

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¬†This time you have already seen the official photos ¬†( click here if you haven’t… ) so it is about time i posted about the designs and the dresses – and as always i will provide sample pricing too.

Our Autumn collection was all about Victorian and Steampunk  Рwith some pre-Raphaelite inspirations too.  we were fortunate to secure the stunning Coombe Abbey  for the shoot Рand its ambiance was perfect for the Victorian designs.

And so, without  further ado, let us meet the dresses.

1.  Mina.

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 Here simplicity and elegance was the key.  A mixture of 18th century  silhouette and Victorian aesthetics resulted in simple lines and sparse decoration. The skirt in satin is worn over a big crinoline; the jacket in silk, lined with brocade, is fitted, laying smoothly over the corset worn underneath. I must admit i like the jacket a lot Рand will most likely keep it for myself Рwould look great with jeans!

The design can be re-created in any color scheme and customized with decorative items. Skirt and jacket would start from £600, depending on the fabrics.  Bridal corsetry from £300.

The result:

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2. Veronica

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  Our Steampunk Bride wears a skirt  with lots of ruffled lace and tulle, a tight-lacing corset in satin, bound in silk and decorated with flossing and crystals. on top, a short bolero jacket in matching fabric. The whole outfit suitable not only for a wedding but for any other less formal occasion.   This design starts from £ 500 Рand this particular outfit, is currently offered on sale at a greatly reduced price as a previously worn item Рplease inquire!

  Lizzie rocked the whole ensemble!

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3. Ceridwen

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Probably the most autumnal of all the designs, Ceridwen consists of a satin skirt worn over a hooped petticoat, and a silk overskirt with an apron front. the skirt at the back can be left flowing or bustled up. corset is made in matching silk and sports gold metallic lace decoration.   Can be commissioned in any colour combination Рprices start from £800.

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4. Constance.

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 Victorian  fashions really have come into the play with this one Рbased on the Natural Form Era designs, Constance is worn over proper Victorian underpinnings Р bustle and corset.  The skirt flows down in froth of white lace, providing a perfect backdrop for the  smooth, shiny satin overskirt and bodice. The veil completes the look of the Victorian Bride.  prices start from £800; £1200 including the underpinnings.

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5. Guinevere

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 A gown reflecting the Pre-Raphaelite fascination with the Middle Ages Р 12 underbust corset in silk.style dress in flowing satin is simple but very effective.  Lace cloak adds to the bridal image, and the gown itself can be work with a decorative girdle or with an underbust corset.

 Prices start from £700

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6. The Goth Bride.

No design here as this one was a bonus frock Рstill, it matches the collection perfectly.  Again, Victorian  silhouette, as the gown is worn over a bustle cage, petticoats and corset Р the bodice, skirt and overskirt in rich colour add a distinctive Gothic flavour to the outfit.

 Prices start from £500 not including the underpinnings.

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¬† and that’s about it ¬†and that’s also the last collection of the year – we have done 4 seasons!

 check the others if you liked this one:-)

 The Summer Bride 

 the Spring Bride

 The Winter Bride

  The Credits:

the provides below!

the venue: Coombe Abbey http://www.coombeabbey.com/

Amateur Photography – Lucas PItcher

Bespoke Bridal gowns: Prior Engagement www.priorengagement.co.uk; www.priorattire.co.uk

Styling, hair, makeup: ‚Äď Sarah Dunn from¬†http://sarahsdoowopdos.wordpress.com/

Bridal bouquets ( real flowers): Anita Smith from The Vintage Rose –¬†http://www.vintageroseflorist.co.uk/

Bridal bouquets (crystal and silk flowers) The Haberdashery Bride http://www.thehaberdasherybride.co.uk/

Bridal shoes and accessories Tracy from http://www.crystal-calla-tiara.com/

Models: Miss Lilian Love, Adriana Renarde, Anett Novak, Izabela PItcher

Many, many thanks to all involved ‚Äď ¬†what a team we make!¬†:-)

and just to end it on a funky note – a few behind the scenes pixs!!

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Paul showing off is work:-)

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Hard at work. Really!

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Sarah, all the work done, is catching up on the emails…

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Anett being – well, Anett!