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!

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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

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 OK, so I have been in the business for a while.  I have been re-enacting even longer Р my first gig was in 1997 if I remember well, and I got into costume making almost straight away. True, I was lucky Рmy first contact with historical interpretation was  guys from Past Pleasures, and after spending a summer travelling with them, observing knights at work at the Tower of London, or strolling alongside 18th century clad characters during the Pantiles festival at Tunbridge Wells, you do learn a bit.  When the summer ended and I returned  to Poland where I lived at the time, I joined a historical fencing group. When told that for Christmas party I need to have a medieval gown, I had at least some vague idea where to look for sources ( well before the internet era!) and  came up with a dress. It was awful Рcotton velvet, lacing at the back, no overgown Р but it was a sensation, mostly because I wore proper headwear- veil, fillet, barbette and wimple.  Every girl wanted it Р and so my adventure with costuming started.   Over the years I studied, researched, learnt ( mostly on mistakes, mostly my own) and learnt more and more, gradually expanding  my range. Now,years later, I have been running my professional costuming and interpretation business for a few good years, turning a hobby and passion into a profession.

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some of my very first outfits… yeah, I know, pretty amusing ( rather horrifyingly so), but we all started somewhere…

 One thing I have learnt over the last 15 years or so is the fact that no matter how perfect the frock, kirtle, habit etc is,  the whole image can be badly marred by  just a few, seemingly secondary factors- namely hairstyle and make up; lack or inappropriate foundation garments;  badly chosen shoes and accessories.  In this post I will discuss the undergarments issues, subsequent posts will deal with the other two.

 Obviously  one has to consider the issue of purpose as well Рsome people  are professional re-enactors, working for museums, stately homes, castles etc.  For some it is a hobby they indulge in at the weekends; some of you simply like a good dress up party a couple of times a year.  some of you are able to afford original items or best fabrics, some of you are on a very narrow budget Рbut if in your historical costuming you aim to produce a period correct silhouette, this article is for you.

¬† There is nothing sadder than ¬†seeing a lovingly stitched dress ¬†hanging shapelessly on the body, worn without ¬†period correct support garments – Victorian bodices worn just on a bra look crumpled and shapeless; bustle skirts without the pad or cage display ¬†all that lovely fabric hanging floppily in disarray,french gowns without panniers, dragging the too long sides on the ground… At the same time it is just as inappropriate to see medieval frocks with bra straps showing or, even worse, worn on corsets; or Tudor gowns ¬†displaying way too much cleavage… ¬†again, if you are not concerned with authentic look, that is all fine – Fantasy, Steampunk or Pirate conventions etc are great places to mix modern and traditional styles and nobody will bat an eyelid. However, ¬†if you do strive to ‘look the part’, ¬†correct undergarment is essential.

¬† Here’s a quick guide of dos and don’ts ¬†through the time – not an full list, but just a basic point of reference, somewhere to start with.

¬† ¬†All periods: wear a chemise! or a smock, a shift – correct for your period. ¬† They were the garments that would be washed, they protect your ¬†clothes from ¬†sweat etc. Yes, ¬†it may not be visible much – or at all, but it will make a dramatic difference in how you wear your kit. ¬†If it doesn’t show, and you are not a purist, wear cotton instead of linen, ¬†of mixed fibers if you are allergic, just make sure the fabric breathes well – polyester silk chemise will make your kit into a mobile sauna, natural fabric will make wearing a wool kirtle ¬†much cooler in the heat of summer. If any part of the garment is on show – ¬†make sure it at least looks correct.

Pants, knickers etc – up to you, ¬†ladies, most of the events we do not display such items publicly so ¬†up to individual preferences. Do bear in mind however that some period underwear was rather specific ¬†and fit for a purpose – split drawers are not split for nothing – something you will soon discover if you wear modern underwear under a french¬†or cage crinoline….:-)

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Blast…. maybe wearing pants and tights wasn’t such a good idea after all… oh dear….

 Medieval.

1. wear your smock

2. Unless you are Agnes Sorel, posing as a Madonna, do not flash your boobs…. If there is even a glimpse of cleavage, it is a glimpse – but most often even that is covered. ¬†Late medieval ladies sport high breasts – but without any ‘spillage’ visible – high, yes, but also contained…

3. Unless your assets are the perfect perky apple shape, you will need some help to achieve the look. ¬† Well cut and fitted kirtle will go a long way, even on more generously endowed ladies. If more support is necessary, you can bind your breast with straps of linen – it does offer a bit of support and for some looks ( Italian 15 the cent) ¬†it ¬†does provide the perfect means to achieve the silhouette. If you have to, wear a bra, but make sure the straps are not showing, and the contours are not visible – seamless bras, just retaining natural shape are great; push up bras – ¬†very rarely so… ¬†Corsets, especially the modern ones – just don’t even consider the possibility… look awful, artificial, modern – and completely unnecessary

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15th century kirtle over a chemise – no bra. I am 34 F, so can only dream of the high perky assets, but the fit of the kirtle provides enough support to keep things in place, contained and comfortable. The secret is to lace from the bottom up!

4.  leg wear Рwear period hose and garters, if possible. Still, a glimpse of the leg would be  highly unusual unless you are a field labourer, so if you are not flashing your ankles too much and nobody inspects your hosiery, you will be fine with longer cotton socks in muted colours .  For purists  hose and garters are a must Рand they do look sexy!

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armour may not be the best choice…

5. ¬†Layers – do not skip the kirtle if it is hot and you want to wear just a posh gown. ¬†Bare calves visible through the thin silks are not posh…Want to be posh, well, sometimes suffering is involved too…

Tudor, Elizabethan and Stuart

1. Same remarks about cleavage apply…. The boned,stiffened kirtles and later stays were there to smooth the contours of the body, provide the support and contain your assets. A hint of a cleavage is fine, over-spilling boobage is not. ¬†Yes, the stiff bodices and stays ¬†do push things up a bit – but ¬†the gowns, shifts, partlets etc do cover most of it. Well, unless you are a noble Jacobean lady going to a masque or posing for a fashionable ¬†portrait in a court attire – some of them tended to be a tad revealing…. ūüôā like this one.. ¬†An excellent article on the masque costumes and the dancers going topless ( well, almost) is here….

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Tudor kirtle with bodice stiffened with reed

During the Restoration it was fashionable to pose for a portrait in your unmentionables – or without them. If you re-enact Nell Gwyn as Venus, that’s fine – but remember that everyday costume did involve a tad more ūüôā ¬†The bodices were ¬†more revealing, true, but still on a tasteful side.

3. For late Elizabethan/Stuart wear either stays ¬†or boned bodices. A bra will not do. Modern corset will not give the period shape. if you are on a budget, boned bodice can be the perfect solution. ¬†Stays and bodices were at that stage mostly boned with reed – ¬†and reed is fantastic- it breathes well, it is flexible and adapts to the body – very comfortable. Remember that the reed found in the garments were mostly bundles of thin reeds – not chair cane! nowadays you can obtain either ¬†thing oval reed ( Farthingales used to have them, USA) or ¬†flat/oval reed from Vena Cava Designs – and it doesn’t cost much, the whole bundle is enough for several items!

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reads and busk enclosed in 1660 bodice

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the finished bodice

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early mantua ( 1680-90) worn on boned stays

 4. Skirt supports. If your style calls for a Spanish farthingale, or a french one Рwear it, no excuses.  If you are on a budget, you can sometimes get bridal petticoats  that can can be used as a farthingale and are cheap Р not perfect, but better that than nothing. All kind of bumrolls, pads etc here come into play as well Рeasy to make, they will make a tremendous difference  to your silhouette.

5. Wear your petticoats. ¬†I know, it is yet another layer, but can be made quickly and don’t have to be made in expensive fabrics. ¬†Also, they will cover the shape of the hoops in a farthingale if your kirtle/dress fabrics are not sufficient. It is a good idea ¬†to wear one in low quality fabric petti as well, under the farthingale ( as a second layer on the chemise – this is the garment which will absorb most of the dirt and dust stirred up by the skirts dragging on the ground …

 6. hosiery Р especially with hooped skirts, or shorter late Elizabethan or Jacobean outfits you can get a glimpse, so make sure your hose or stockings look correct. in colder climates nice woolen stockings are a godsend.

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getting ready – and flashing my lovely woolen stockings from Sally Pointer

  Georgian

1.  do use skirt supports  suitable for the style of the gown you are wearing: pocket hoops, panniers,  bum pads of all kind Рthey make the dress look good, without them, silk or not, they just resemble sad rags. Great  source of inspiration and knowledge can be found on the American Duchess website РLauren specializes in the period and her tutorials are extremely helpful.  Do not be afraid to experiment with the shape of the support, it is worth it.

2. ditto – petticoats,

3. ditto stays.  More and more styles were available, and although more cleavage was sometimes seen, peaking from under a fishu,  overspill was generally avoided. Do choose stays suitable not only to your style but your body type: half boned stays with some horizontal boning at the breast will create more cleavage and are great for ladies with smaller assets, but may  not be sufficient to contain bigger volume. Fully boned stays  will flatten fuller bosoms and keep the puppies under control. Later styles call for the famous pigeon breast silhouette: shorter, half boned stays are perfect here . 

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with stays that shape the chemise ( here just trying out on a normal top) also has a role in containing things…. half boned stays in silk

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fully boned stays – ultimate control, made comfortable with the use of reed

For stays, it is still ok to use reed – whalebone started to be used too, I believe, but nowadays not available, and not ethical.

With the stays and skirt supports, you will get the fashion plate look spot on!

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boobs up high, bum sticking out in all directions… perfect ūüôā

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stays and hoop panniers underneath all that silk brocade…

Regency

1. petticoats, stays, hosiery etc, all apply. Many ladies believe that the high waisted styles mean stays are out and bras are fine – alas, this all to often spoils the effect. If you are lucky and ¬†sport firm high breasts, yep, you won’t need ¬†much. However, if you fall into a curvier category, you will need some help. Remember, if the bouncing continues after the dancing stops, you’s better invest in proper undergarments ūüėČ

¬†Regency stays are there to hold your assets up and usually separate them ( divide and conquer style ūüėČ ). The cups come up mid bust level, and the breast are contained within the chemise. They do look very unnatural and high – but once you get the frock on, it all pays up. ¬†The longer stays are comfortable and smooth the body, so the dress flows uninterrupted from the high waist.

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regency stays, riding style ( not finished, couldn’t be bothered with the lacing at the hip at the time…). note the busk separating the breast and seemingly shallow cups. surprisingly comfortable too

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it is the stays underneath that make the style at least remotely elegant for me – the dress simply flows so much better!

Brassieres are also surprisingly effective, though tricky to put on Рand  they also seem to be working quite well for bigger bosoms.

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the kyoto brasierre

Victorian and Edwardian

1. Wear all the layers.  If you can skimp on one petticoat without compromising the look, fine, but do wear a proper corset, wear a proper skirt support for your period.   Corded petticoats  and sleeve supports for the romantic era, crinolines, bustle cages, bust improver, bustle pads etc Рthey were all there for a reason.  If wearing a crinoline, remember the petticoats will help you hide the outline of the hoops Рand make sure your bottom hoop is not visible!

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Mid Victorian undergarments – chemise, pantaloons ( long drawers) corset and a cage crinoline

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Petticoat on….

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the dress on crinoline cage and petticoat

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bustle cage

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and a flounced petticoat

2. When planning an outfit always start with the foundations Р bodice made to fit a modern body will not fit over a corset.  skirt cut without taking the supports into consideration will be too long or too narrow.

Undergarment comparison

3. If you can, get the corset bespoke made ( or make one yourself).  If you will be wearing the clothes for some time, you will need a decent, bespoke corset made to you. In my corset I can move, can dance, can ride, can wear it all day long, working away, and I can breathe without any problems ( my rib cage is not crushed). Modern corsets off the peg may feel great for a short time, but  fail miserably  for longer periods of time. Bespoke is not cheap, but it is well worth saving. having said so, if you find an off the peg  Victorian or Edwardian corset ( not modern overbust though), that fits you well, you are lucky Рvery lucky, so enjoy, it will be usually less  than half the price of a bespoke one.

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corset provides the silhouette but remains invisible.

4. Wear corset cover. It is a pretty flimsy thing, bit it protect your nice silk dress from the corset, and also hides the outline of the corset a bit.

5. Wear Edwardian corsets for Edwardian ¬†dresses and Victorian ones for Victorian frocks – don’t mix them, they do produce a very different silhouette and ¬†Victorian corset with Edwardian gown is simply wrong. Modern overbust corsets ¬†are not a good choice – overbust will push your assets a bit too high, creating ¬†a very high bust shelf – not very comfortable and period… Victorian/Edwardian corsets are usually mid bust.

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Edwardian corset

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Edwardian corset, back view

For late Edwardian/ WWI costuming, corsets are still necessary! nowadays you see so many lovely frocks¬†of the period, with the look ruined as women either don’t realize that corsets were still worn at the time – or choose to ignore the fact. Yes, the function of the corset was changing – here they were used not to support the breast so much as to smooth the silhouette, streamline it, so that the narrow style clothing looked good – and as they were not designed to cinch your waist a lot, they¬†are very comfortable to wear too. ¬†Later on this style of corsets changes onto girdle and brassieres are starting to appear:)

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WWI style corset

6.drawers Р up to you, I love mine, and they make going to the toilet a much less daunting prospect!

46. Stocking, drawers, corset and the petticoat, worn on the bustle pad, at trial riding

checking how the Victorian underthings work on a horseback. the worked well…

48. back view - note the unbuttoned petticoat

a bit more ladylike…. ūüôā

7. if possible, wear correct style petticoat for your dress. Natural form petticoats can differ from the bustle eras Р 1870 petties are different from 1885. Sometimes you can cheat a bit, sometimes  not, so plan your outfit carefully.

8. cleavage Рagain,  very subtle, if ever.  Flout your curves, but tastefully, tantalizingly hidden in lace and silks .

 Again, American Duchess  is a good source, as is  Historical Sewing Рgreat  tutorials and much more detailed information and advice on 19th century styles, from Regency to Edwardian Рdo check them up!. Historical sewing also offers online courses Рvery helpful!

 For corsetry supplies and corset making courses Рcheck Sew Curvy

¬†Well, ¬†I think that’s about it – just skimming through the centuries, really, but i think i covered the most important points – hope you have enjoyed it, or at least found the information useful! ¬†For more pictures ¬†of garments across the centuries, please visit my page, or my pinterest boards!

 the other post on Looking the part series:

  looking the par Р2 Р Hair and make up

 looking the part3 Р accessories

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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 LJP_8605

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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!