20th century, shopping

Help Bling Me!

As previously noted, the GBACG is having what should be an amazing Titanic event.  While I’d love to make something new, money is tight enough that I really shouldn’t be spending money on yards of silk.  And, shockingly, I tried on my 1910 Lady Maud evening dress and it still fits, and since I’ve only worn this ONCE, I really should wear it again!

But now I’m trying to figure out the bling issue!  I’ve been vacillating between a few concepts:

Concept 1:  Super bling in a period style, like that worn here by Queen Sophia of Greece in 1915:

The problem is I’m having a hard time finding a good, wide choker that’s NOT pearls.  Pearls are nice, and they’re period, but they’re not exciting me right now.

Concept 2: Indian jewelry.  Did you know that of all modern cultures, Indian women have the best clothes?  Seriously!  And their jewelry is pretty kick ass too.  Given that my dress is made from a sari, and the Delhi Durbar of 1911 inspired lots of Indian influences in the fashions of 1911-12, and given that modern Indian is faaabulous and quite affordable on ebay, I thought of going full on Indian — hey, I could be returning to America from India and the Durbar!

Combination #1: white Indian jewelry. Then I came across this white Indian jewelry set, and I thought it might be a great merger of the two ideas — choker, bling, Indian:

But what about headgear? I was initially thinking of trying to make some kind of bandeau, like this one from Vogue:

However, the Indian sets come with a piece of hair jewelry that’s really gorgeous, but a different look — the maang tika, which hangs over the part and onto the forehead (ok this lady doesn’t have a center part, but you get the idea):

But then I found this tiara on ebay and it’s really calling to me — but it’s silvertone, not gold, and the Indian jewelry sets are almost all goldtone!

First world problems, solve them for me.  Go full Indian?  Combine goldtone Indian with silvertone tiara?  Ditch the Indian idea and keep trying to find some kind of non-cheesy rhinestone choker (which could be impossible)?  What’s working for you?

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  • Reply Prolixity January 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    First time caller, long time listener.

    I have long wanted to buy a saree, but have never know where to do so. Do you have any suggestions on how to best go about it on eBay.


  • Reply Steph January 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Your Lady Maude is so gorgeous it would look great with any of these options. But I think the shade of green calls out for gold accessories. Maybe you can find a gold-tone tiara, or somehow work the hair accessory you get with the Indian set onto a gold metal headband or into a bandeau. And the white-and-gold set would give just enough contrast to the outfit, whereas the gold-and-green would blend a bit too much.
    (I love your costuming, btw–I’ve been following along for a while, but don’t think I’ve ever commented before)

  • Reply Lauren R January 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm


    I like the Indian sets, for sure, and would also wear a bandeau :-)

  • Reply lazykayt January 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Ooh, I think you should wear the goldtone Indian pieces and the silvertone tiara together. Mixing your metals prevents the cookie-cutter “matchey-matchey” costume look. After all: a lady of means travelling with a beautiful tiara doubtless purchased in Paris or New York would have certainly not hesitated to wear it with her newly aquired Indian jewels! Especially as the splendour of the inaugural voyage of the White Star Line’s flagship calls for the very finest. The silver will also look so stunning against your hair, while I think a gold headpiece might get lost in the glow of the auburn.

    So my vote? Go for both!

  • Reply wendy January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    much as I looove the green indian set, I think the anglo approach of white jewels/gold tones is a winner. If it would kill you to wear the silver tiara with it, that would be a shame, but I’d still go with the indian bling first

  • Reply Sarah G January 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    The Indian jewelry sets are both fabulous, but I think I like the green set best.

  • Reply Meilin January 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    That’s a gorgeous dress and you look gorgeous in it. It would be a crime if you never wore it again. :-)

    I vote goldtone Indian jewelry. The tiara is nice, but I really love the maang tika look and it’d go awesome with your red hair.

  • Reply Judy January 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Lol… so, AJ and I are also having the conundrum of sari + indian jewelry + what?… completely by chance! We both bought indian wedding sets years ago, but never had fancy enough events to wear them to. Then this came up, and we bought saris to construct our dresses to match. TOTALLY NOT STALKING YOU :)

    For myself, I’m wearing the wedding set, and this ivy + pearl + gold tiara/hairband I also found on ebay. I decided against the silver toned tiara, but I think it would look fine, especially if you found an indian set with a lot of rhinestones in it.

  • Reply Dawn January 25, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I see your delema! All so pretty! Buy the peices you think you’d wear most often and wear them all! Mixing metals is not an issue anymore. Was it during the early 1900s…I don’t know.

  • Reply Trystan January 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Hmm… I like either of the Indian sets with a bandeau, say, something in green or gold with sparkly bits on it. Get a piece of silk, reinforce w/buckram if necy, & sew (or hot glue!) shiny stuff on it. Or hunt down an appropriately bedazzled sash / scarf / belt that can be fashioned into a bandeau. Maybe you could incorporate the tikka piece into the bandeau decorations too. That seems most period to me. Mixing gold & silver seems awfully modern (& for that matter, some ppl still frown on it).

  • Reply Hana - Marmota January 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Yes, I did know, and definitely would vote for the Indian sets, either of them.

  • Reply Katherine February 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    You are so good at finding great things. I really love the white choker and feel if you go with that- a tiara would look the best. But maybe I’m just influenced by the portrait of Queen Sofia.

  • Reply Women’s Clothing circa 1912 | Bygone Glamour August 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    […] Help Bling Me, by Kendra Van Cleave at Demode. An article about selecting jewelry to wear with a reproduction 1912 evening gown. […]

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