Monday, 11 July 2011

A busy weekend in Bath.

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy. I was pleased to be able to have a nice weekend in Bath and to attend the 'Grand Regency Ball'. On Friday I was asked by my friend Yvonne Hobbs to help in the final stages of dressing the costumes in her exhibition 'Dressing the Stars' at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. The costumes which are on display are from films such as The Kings Speech, Gladiator, Troy, The Duchess,  Pirates of the Caribbean and many more. It was wonderful to be able to get so close to these famous costumes and to see the level of detail. I was very inspired. The exhibition runs from the 12th July until the 29th August 2011.
Detail of Marianne's wedding dress from 'Sense and Sensibility'

Marianne's wedding headdress from 'Sense and Sensibility'

Sewing jewelry into place on costumes from 'The Duchess'

The 'Grand Regency Ball' was fun on Saturday although I do despair that people continue to use synthetic fabrics to make dresses of this period....... Some friends and I also decided to promenade around Bath on Saturday daytime.

Finally, one of my customers sent me a photo of the coat and breeches I had made for him.


Kleidung um 1800 said...

That sounds like a gorgeous weekend! First diving into lots of historic movies while mounting costumes and then promenading in sunny Bath!
I do love your white dress - the front of the skirt looks highly fashionable, would you mind to share a closer picture?!

Fiorina said...

Well, while I marvel on your spencer (and Allison's hats. The hats!! Aye - I do have a weakness for hats, I admit it) - I must say I am not overly impressed by the use of modern chairs during the ball. It wouldn't be so much effort to cover them up I think.

And on synthetics: I hear you. I do hear you!

The exhibition looks grand indeed - I do hope it shall get around, Bath this year is beyond reach, the earliest I have as a vacation slot is in September.

Anonymous said...

Yes I second the motion for a shot of the dress w/out the spencer--although a back shot of the spencer would be great too :) Beautiful work. I always look forward to seeing what new project you are working on.

Mme Theo (Le Bon Ton)

Sandi said...

A wonderful weekend, indeed...I envy you. A group of elegant ladies and gentlemen promenading around Bath must have turned a few heads! You all looked so bang-up to the nines!

Alison's hats are truly gorgeous! Another talented lady.

While I have every admiration for those who make the effort to get a costume together to attend such events, it also sets my teeth on edge to see obviously synthetic fabrics and trimmings. (If man-made fibres cannot be avoided due to cost, or whatever, then they should at least look as natural as possible).

Anyway, roll on September!

Fichu1800 said...

Hello, I will certainly post some detail photos of my spencer and the front of the skirt. I really appreciate your comments.

@ Sandi, yes I totally agree with you. I know some synthetic fabrics can look like silk until you handle them and everyone is on a budget. As you said, the colour should be selected carefully and also the trimmimgs.

If you are on a budget, why not use use a muslin or fine cotton voile/lawn instead? They are the same price as a synthetic silk/satin (maybe cheaper) and would be very appropriate for Regency evening wear. Also it is worth checking eBay. There are sellers who have end of roll silks for under £5 per metre or there are sellers who have vintage silk sari lengths (4-5 metres)for under £10 in total.

Maggie May's Historic Clothing said...

Hello Natalie-
How exciting about the new exhibit! A quick question for you if I may?

On the topic of using authentic textiles/ trims and the recreation of period garments- how do the pieces in the film exhibit compare? Are all of these pieces true to the period or are any taking creative license (synthetic fibers/trims/cut/etc?) I know it depends upon the designer/film. Just curious.

Also, your garments are exquisite- especially your tailored pieces. Lovely as always!

Zho Zho said...

I agree about synthetic fabrics in period costume, although I confess the only attempt I had at recreating a period costume I used a synthetic. Wow is me. How lucky you are to go to Bath, I would so love to visit the fashion museum there and lose myself studying the collection.

Thanks for the link to my bog.

Fichu1800 said...

Thanks Maggie May and Zho Zho.

@ Maggie May, the film costume exhibition was very interesting to see close up. Regarding the use of synthetic fabrics and trim there was a real mix. Overall I would say the cutting,tailoring and period silhouettes was excellent. Some costumes were made with 100% natural fibres and some were synthetic. Just in the collection from the film 'The Duchess', Keira Knightly's wedding dress was made with silk. Another dress was made with synthetic taffeta with modern trims but chosen carefully.

A lot of the decoration on the costumes from the Elizabethan era films were decorated with Indian sari trims which had been hand made and aged. The quality which really showed through was the careful and almost invisible use of applied antique embroidery pieces in stomachers and dress decoration. Even on Ralph Fienne's wedding waistcoat from 'The Duchess' there was 19th century silver lace applied which worked well.

The costumes were all beautifully made. It was a great pleasure to be able to look at them in detail!