Sunday, January 19, 2014

A 1920s Robe de Style

First I need to say that I am thoroughly smitten with 1920s and 30s clothing now (40s is pretty good too!). I want to make ALL THE VINTAGE THINGS, but there's a lot of 18th century stuff that needs to get done first! It's so fun and beautiful to wear, and it's more "acceptable" to wear around than 18th or 19th century clothes... ;-) 

I fully blame Nicole for all of this. She went last year to the Art Deco Society of Virginia's Jazz Age Preservation Ball, and as this year's event drew nearer, I started to get the bug for a robe de style. Luckily I was able to con Mike into letting us go, since he had a 1930s suit already (the ball is open to anything 20s-30s). We--Nicole, her husband, Mike and I-- made a lovely day out of it by hitting a few antique and vintage stores in Richmond before dinner at Can Can Brasserie (perfect ambience for the evening and really delicious food). Definitely need to go back for more leisurely shopping, although I did pick up a darling 1930s cape on sale that only needs some repairs to the lining. It was perfect since my coat wouldn't close over the panniers!

In designing my dress, I looked at probably thousands of images of robes de style. There were a lot of directions one could go in, but I was looking for something that could be done in a relatively short amount of time and a small budget (read: no copious amounts of beading or expensive fabrics and trims). I used the yellow silk taffeta I mentioned in my last post, so all I had to buy was a couple yards of silk tulle and some Swarovski rhinestones and Czech glass tube beads. 

For the bodice neckline, I was inspired by this dress . The scalloped hem shows up on tons of dresses from this period. The large flowers were inspired by dresses like this one. I really wanted to do the tulle on the bottom of the skirt, since you see that in a bunch of originals too, like this one. It has small, silly panniers underneath made of plain white cotton and plastic boning. The dress closes on the side with a snap placket, as per originals

I am really quite happy with how it turned out. There are things I want to do before I wear it again, like put more flower appliques on the rest of the scallops. This time I only did every other one so that I could ensure I got it done in time. I'd also like to replace the 3-D floppy flower on the bodice with an appliqued and beaded one like the skirt flowers.

And oh yes--there's a hair tutorial coming, probably in a couple days. But first, enjoy the dress! :-)



Handsome husband is handsome...

My cape!

The ballroom:


Time Traveling in Costume said...

Beautiful! The skirt looks wonderful!
And what a great find with the cape.

Gina said...

Oh Samantha...I know I said it before, but I'll say it again...You look so incredibly marvelous! You have caputred in full the look of the 1920s! Job very well done on your dress and hair!!! Your cape is fabulous as well!!


lahbluebonnet said...

How funny! I'm in the middle of sewing a Robe de Style right now! Of course, yours looks great!

Laura Morrigan said...

I love the dress! It reminds me of an Erte print!The cape is fantastic too! You look wonderful, and I bet it was a great night!

vintagevisions27 said...

Ah so excited to see this finished! You look fantastic! I know exactly what you mean about being drawn to the 20s-40s. I fear my 18th century wardrobe and list of sewing projects have become rather neglected this last year or so.

Emily's Vintage Visions

PinkJamie said...

Gorgeous dress!

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