At the very end of December, the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild held a bustle-era tea at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. The Palace is super fancy and dates from 1875 but was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake — the restaurant where tea is served is what used to be where carriages would pull in and is just beautiful:
The tea was hosted by Mrs. Vanderbilt (Cynthia) and THE Mrs. Astor (Catherine), both tres chic in their bustle gowns:
Costumes ranged from the 1870s to the 1890s:
Teresa and Bridget were both super pregnant and super cute with their unbuttoned bodices:
There was lots of gorgeous beading and fabulous hats:
And a lovely lady wearing an actual antique late 1860s/early 1870s gown:
I wore my purple and white striped Gwendolen dress, this time without the lower hoops as I wasn’t in the mood to wrestle them on BART (our local commuter train). The bodice appears to have (ahem) shrunk, but luckily I saved scraps of the fabric and hit on the faaabulous idea of adding a V striped false waistcoat front — I’m so glad there are two runs of buttons on each side of the bodice opening!
Sadly the hat I made to go with the outfit just doesn’t want to work over 1870s hair. I could have jammed it on my head and not liked the effect, so I chose to go without (shocking!).
Tea was scrummy — I couldn’t even finish all of my sweets and had to take some home! And the hotel had lots of beautiful photo spots:
All in all, a lovely afternoon! You can see a few more photos in my Flickr set.