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!

Spectacular! Spectacular! Masquerade Ball 2013

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And it is done.  The Ball has taken place, and what a night it was!

The last few days before the ball ( 27th April) were manic Рi only had about a day and a half to get my dress sorted ( a separate post on that here..)  and deal with the last minute issues, problems, cancellations etc.

But all was sorted in time and by 1pm we were on the move, driving first to our hotel in Slough, even managing a short nap there, and then by 4 we were at the beautiful Heatherden Hall – a part of Pinewood Studios.

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outside, at 4 pm

Inside, the team from Corporate Events already laid up our oak dancefloor, covering the entire ballroom.

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flooring sorted!

We had a quick chat with Paul, our DJ on the day ( also from Corporate Events), about the music, preferences, set up etc –¬† and with the music working¬† we simply had to¬†have a go on the dance floor ! we decided to go through our¬† tango routine, but the stress was making it more of a free style improvisation rather than our proper routine! At that point our photographer, Paul Mockford and his assistant Jason arrived – and without much ado filmed the thing! you can see it here

After that sneaky footage the boys got started on setting their photo studio in the Pools room, and we had a chat with the resident staff who was to care for us in the evening, headed by  the competent Ivona. after that all that was to do was getting ready. Sarah and Lizzie, providing the beauty saloon services, were ready at 5, and the ladies who secured their make up and hairstyling slots were arriving on time  Рthe rest of the guests were to start arriving at 6.

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Sarah and Lizzie hard at work…

By then I was already dresses, make up and hair sorted ( more or less) and helping other ladies to get dressed Рthe facilities were great as we had the whole of the Conservatory and the PIne room just for ladies.  during various lacing, arranging and pinning, i talked to our dance teacher, Charlotte Ewart, going through the last bits of information on the dances to be taught.

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getting ready… the atmosphere was great as everybody was helping everybody else:-)

The weather wasnt perfect Рbut luckily by 6 it has stopped raining and the guests started arriving on the red carpet. Soon the gardens, patio and the bar, where the welcome drinks were served,  were throbbing with people dressed in their finest..

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the bar…

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having fun on the patio

The gardens, with their bridges, sculptures and the labirinth-like hedges were a popular destination for strolling and taking photos…

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  Then, at 8 the dancing started. We begun with the traditional Polish dance, Polonaise Рit is a promenade dance, easy to follow and it is still the dance that opens every Prom Ball in Poland..

I led with Chris , our musician ( Blast from the Past) and Lucas followed with Charlotte.¬†¬† Our fears that people¬†would be reluctant¬†to dance were quickly dispelled –¬† the dancefloor was packed full as we processed to the polonaise from Eugene Onegin

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Lucas and Charlotte

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polonaise in full swing…

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leading with Chris

After the polonaise Charlotte  guided us through the Duke of Kent waltz, proper waltz hold and steps, aend even a few polkas. Polkas were a killer, leaving us completely breathless!  all to lovely live music from Sophie and Chris.

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a polka

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one of the waltzes…

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us having a go at a polka

some people preferred a more passive participation though, simply enjoying the view. Some took it very easy indeed!

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taking it easy to the next level…

 After the lesson the DJ took over and more waltzes, quicksteps, and more waltzes following for another hour. The dance floor emptied a bit as at the same time food was served and most folks made their way to the pools room to partake in the buffet.

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The food was delicious – alas so delicious that some people went to get seconds and thirds – and as a consequence a few folks¬† who were still dancing, us including arrived to see empty plates – or half full plates being carried back to the kitchen as people piled more food than they could eat… a bit of a lesson on human nature here, so the food issue is one to be seriously addressed in the future, if i decide to organize another ball. As it was, I was lucky enough to get a bite of a tiramisu Sarah managed to secure for me…

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At the same time the photography team had their hands full – people were having their photos taken, printed and mounted in one go!

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Paul Mockford at work!

After a few more waltzes ( lots of improvisation on our part Рbut there were a few good couples who could really whirl around!) music gradually changed to a more modern tracks, including music from Moulin Rouge  and a fully eclectic mix of rock, tango ( again, lots of improvisation  and silliness here on our part!) and other dance tunes. The Prince Charming theme went down a treat Рmany thanks to whoever requested it!  some gilrs chose to take the log skirts off and boogie around in shorter numbers, but the majority danced the night away in their finery!

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prince charming walk….

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girls having fun!

And so the evening continued – dancing, drinking, chatting in a relaxing manner.

As far ars the costumes are concerned – I was hugely impressed!¬† I must admit that¬†I dreaded¬† seeing those cheap fancy dress rental pieces, but¬†I shouldn’t have worried. tTe garments were absolutely divine, in most cased hand made by the participants or by few skillful costumiers present at the ball – Felicity Westmacott, Denise Piggin¬†or Christina Dettmers to name just a few – and of course I had a hand in making a few of the costumes too…..:-) ( historical and bridal)

The range was astounding Рfrom pure blown out fantasy, through fashion corsetry to authentic Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian or Tudor garments. Steampunk was very much in evidence as well Рin short a true feast for the eyes!  just a few picture s here, more can be founf on fb Рlink here

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best hat ever!

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The fun ended at about 12.30 when the bar closed, and we saw the last of the guests off just after 1am…

Absolutely knackered, we made our way to the hotel when at last, hungry as we were, we shared a left over bagel… ūüôā

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after party bagel… yum! and after paerty look, not so yum…

Altogether, a successful night, with the food issue to be addressed at any future events. Feedback¬†so far was good, so¬†¬†many thanks to all of you who contributed to the fantastic atmosphere at the ball – and thank you for those who let me use their photos…

another blog on the ball, written by one of the guests, can be found here

and if you fancy another ball Рthis year;s event is coming soon!  Check out our Victorian Ball

and some of the feedback received on our pages – many, many thanks for it, i was really down because the food situation, and the feebback received did raise my spirits a great deal!:

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Thank you for a truly spectacular evening! We all had a fantastic time! Really appreciate all the time and effort you went to to make it such an incredible event! ‚ô•
great evaning Izabela! Thank you for all the hard work. It ran so smoothly, a testament to your great planning!

What a lovely night! I got to dance to The Sound of Music- Edelweiss and NIN- Closer all in one night… As always I am blown away by the talent that surrounded me. The dresses and coats, the skirts and corsets, waistcoats and pantaloons, each of them were beautifully constructed and many of them by the very people wearing them. It inspires me ūüôā Thanks to everyone who came for making it such a friendly evening, it was a pleasure meeting you, and thank you to the Prior Attire team for putting together a truly Spectacular! Spectacular! event ūüôā

We are all amazing. What a beautiful evening.
Thank you Izabella for a great night, and thankyou to all for their fabulous costumes, makeup, masks and headpieces, I so enjoyed looking at all the creativity. As you might have guessed, the kit did get finished, and got some really nice comments from other guests.
We had a lovely evening. Thanks for all your work in putting together such a lovely event in a stunning venue!