Last Saturday was the PEERS Scarlet Pimpernel ball. And you know 18th century = love! So that, plus the fact that other friends were going, encouraged me to go. I so love figure dance (English country, quadrilles, you name it), so it was lots of fun to get to dance, plus there were lots of lovely people to chat with. And it was yet another chance to revamp my 1770s pouf wig — this time with lots of curls in back! And ship! I’ve posted photos.
I am oh so woefully behind — about a month ago GBACG went to the Gaskell Ball, and I did actually take some pictures! Our theme this year was Victorian fantasy, and only a very few of us dressed up. Bridget wore her fabulous fairy costume, I wore my 1830s evening dress with elf ears and my LOTR circlet, and a woman whose name I’ve forgotten came as the sun (am I forgetting anyone?). Sadness! Next year I may have to just make it no theme, or just pick something along with whatever I want to wear — if I’m the only one wearing it, it should be something I’m excited about! I did think seriously about how much I want to sell off all of my non-natural fiber costumes. This dress is an acetate taffeta, and while it wasn’t horrible because of the low neck/short sleeves, it was definitely uncomfortable. Anyway — pictures!
On Saturday night I went to the PEERS Vampire Ball. I was so inspired by Marie Antoinette that of course I had to wear my new peach francaise, and finally got the courage to wear my new, huge grey powdered wig. And I finally found the beauty patches that I bought from Jwlhyfer over a year ago, and was excited to find that one was a bat! Yay! And I can report that eyeglash glue works perfectly for affixing patches.
The ball was nice but not fabulous — it was a much better venue than where it’s been held in the past, but it was hot and for some reason I didn’t really get into dancing until late in the evening (but then had some really nice waltzes). I did have a good time just mingling and chatting. There were some really great costumes there — lots of goth-inspired ensembles. I got a lot of compliments on my costume, although one of my friends overheard someone say (in reference to me), “I can’t believe that people would RENT costumes to come to this.” Um, sorry dearie! Handsewed every stitch! But I guess I should take it as a compliment, right?
After being literally tied to my computer for about a month with heinously huge work deadlines (literally!), I’ve finally been able to get out and about!
Two weekends ago I went to the GBACG Victorian bonnet workshop, where I finally learned how to work with buckram. Yay! The class was great, most especially because Frannie and I were very punchy and basically whined (and laughed) through most of it. Lynne is as always such a fabulous teacher (and her work is amazing — you can see her in one of her bonnets here on the right). I was most excited that she brought one of her OWN patterns, so we got to work on a really period 1850-60s bonnet shape, and not the typical “Dickens bonnet.” I was waiting to take some pictures of the bonnet (still in progress), but I’m not 100% sure whether I’m going to stick with my original plan (which doesn’t really work with any of my current or planned outfits). I have plans for a sheer 1860s dress for next summer, so I may redo the bonnet to work with that.
Then last Saturday I went with Katie and Bridget to the PEERS Fairytale Masquerade ball. It was lovely, particularly because only about 1/3 of the number of people I usually see at PEERS balls were there, so there was actually ROOM to move around and dance (gasp!). I wore my courtesan dress with a glinty butterfly mask (I decided I was a princess — that’s fairytale enough!). I had fun dancing, but most especially enjoyed getting to dress up. Yay dress up! Pictures
Now I just have to get back to some sewing (I’ve been working on my 1780s jacket and am actually near to done, but I need to take some pictures so I can update that diary). Then I need to get back to work on my 1770s Paris dress and start thinking about my Costume College gala dress. Phew!
So this past Saturday GBACG went en masse (well, some of us anyway) to the Gaskell ball (semi-monthly Victorian balls in Oakland). It was really really lovely — there were less of us than last year, but we did a better job hanging out together so I actually got to talk to lots of people. Plus there were lots of lovely people, like Trystan looking stunning in a purple and gold dress, Sarah all the way out from Utah in her Colonial Coquette dress, and Jwlhyfer in her Elizabeth Siddal posing gown. Our group theme was costume in bloom, and everyone did a great job accenting their costumes with flowers.
I didn’t dance much (still recovering from a knee injury) but those that I did dance were great. We were even awake enough that Jwlhyfer, Bridget (in my brown 1830s evening dress) and I met my husband and a friend at a bar in Berkeley afterwards — where we made MANY friends (nothing like drunk frat guys who actually know what a bustle is!).
Possibly because the guild was promoting that specific ball, and probably through some freak of the space/time continuum, the costuming was MUCH better than it usually is (meaning, there was more of it and less corset/prom skirt!). I had an excellent time dancing, chatting with friends and fellow costumers, and stalking all of the lovely costumes. Some of the best gowns were on Barbara, who wore her grey striped (!!) wedding dress (more info on her website), and by Heidi’s recreation of the Madame X dress from the Sargent painting.
I wore my stripedy 1780s robe a l’anglaise, and had fun ratting my hair out. As I was leaving the house I mentioned to my husband, “You know, about half of the people there are going to say, ‘What the $!)# did she do to her hair?'” — and I was right. One person said, “It looks like you’re going for a servant look or something…” Le sigh!
On Saturday night I went to the PEERS Mardi Gras ball. I was actually quite impressed; possibly because of the theme and the fact that it was a masked ball, the costuming was much more exciting than usual. Lots of great masks, Heidi had FABULOUS 1830s hair, and there were two other robes a la francaise other than my own (Jenn in the red even had a BOAT in her hair! Yay!).
So here you are: PHOTOS