I have never actually been to a proper Halloween Party, but this year we were seduced into attempting one. Admittedly most of the seduction was done by the location – we have been to Gosfield Hall before, to shoot our Summer Bride collection last year – and loved it! So the tickets were bought, and since it was Lucas’ birthday on the 1st, I treated us, as a surprise, to securing the sumptuous Bridal Suite for our stay.
And with a venue like that and lodgings dripping with gold, I obviously needed suitably splendid attire….
Fortunately I had a cunning plan – I have designed the Batdress several months ago, a spur of the moment thing, and then was lucky enough to get a bargain fabric – 15m of crushed silk velvet – useless for historical outfits, but perfect for a bit of Halloween fancy dress.
The original sketch,
and a work in progress sketch – yep, that’s how I make skirts and gauge how much fabric to use…
the foundations first – a cage crinoline, mid Victorian design, and a muslin petticoat from one of our bridal frocks….
then the skirt….
The corset was a bit of a challenge – because it was to be worn over a crinoline and not underneath, it had to be much shorter, allowing for the skirts to billow up. As a result, it turned out to be a surprisingly comfortable wear:-)
The corset used plain coutil as a strength layer, tape castings for channels and cotton for lining. Decoration – silver and black lace appliques, silver thread flossing and red beads.
The overskirt/wings were made of the same fabric and lined with faux duponi silk from James Hare – and boned with thin metal flat steel.
other accessories included these..
Once the dress was done, I have 6 hours to make something more before we hit the road – and in a mad rush I made another corset, satin and calico , with lace and silk tulle decoration:-), styled for a Bridal vampiric look…
The plan was to arrive early and shoot the bridal stuff first, then change and have fun in the Bat dress. alas, we underestimated the traffic – Friday, end of half term, halloween – we were stuck on the motorway for much too long. as a result, we arrived in time to get ready, but not to shoot the bridal stuff – that will have to be done the following morning!
We were surprised , very pleasantly, by a nice card and a bottle of white wine awaiting us in the suite – a present from our friend Eleanor, who was also attending the party! 🙂
Before the party a girl needs to relax – a bath and a face mask was in order. Lucas did have a bit of a shock when i joked I could go to the party wearing this….
but at last the clothes were on, make up and hair was done and we could take a few pictures….
The event was very atmospheric – an amazing singer in one room, roast boar dinner and a cobweb covered pianist playing tunes from the Phantom of the Opera in the other, fireworks outside – amazing!
apart from relaxing, eating and enjoying ourselves, we did take more pictures at the end of the night….
as to the question i was asked a few times at the party – how do you go to the loo in that?
well, the answer is simple – wear split drawers ( or none….) and go in forward….
In the morning we got up early and shot the Dracula’s bride styling – corset with lace, with a scrap of lace as a headdress, my bridal veil and a silk chiffon skirt….
we were having so much fun we almost missed breakfast – as a result i rushed downstairs half dressed – don’t think many people minded though – the corset looked great with jeans too!
I must admit I loved wearing the Batdress – but it was a one off and is going to be put on sale ( though not before we shoot it somewhere else – the original idea was a forest or a cemetery), just like the bridal corset – no doubt next year I will come up with a different kit: – )
hope you enjoyed the madness – we did, and are planning more Halloween outings in the future!