Thursday, September 3, 2015

1860s "Oriental" Fancy Dress

Michael and I had the opportunity to attend a private 19th century masquerade/fancy dress ball last weekend at Braehead Manor. It was quite possibly the loveliest ball event I have ever been to! The setting was beyond perfection, there was an exactly even amount of men and women (all eager to dance) and the food... Oh the food! Lobster salad, sugarplums, and berry tarts with gold leaf! That's just a few of the incredible offerings. 

We escorted our beloved friend Emma to the ball. She and I spent the past few Saturdays working on our respective costumes. Emma went as a springtime sprite and I decided to go with an "Oriental" costume that blended Turkish and Indian influences through a 19th century lens. Along with the sheer fun of it, I also wanted something comfortable to wear. And boy was it! I really like this outfit and all of the fabrics and accessories came together beautifully. I will probably bring this to Teslacon as a back-up outfit.

I didn't try to recreate a specific image but instead combined ideas from a few favorite sources. My main inspiration was this Indian fancy dress costume. But I knew I wanted bloomers to wear as well, so I started hunting around... Turns out that Indian clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries saw a lot of sheer skirts/dresses worn over pants. This image is technically later than the date I was shooting for, but served as my inspiration for my turban and veil: But as it wasn't a strict "historical" event, I was fine pulling inspiration from different eras. And I built it over my Regency stays because my 1860s corset isn't wearable... (that will change soon, though! I need it for Teslacon!)

All of the fabrics I used were silk. The turquoise and the sheer organza are from Renaissance Fabrics, and the gold was stash fabric (yay!). I got the vintage sari and khussa slippers on Ebay. Instead of a regular mask, I pinned a strip of fringed metallic silk fabric from my turban in front of my face. None of us lasted in our masks very long though because it was such a warm evening!

The bodice is just my usual 1860s bodice pattern. I only bought a yard of the turquoise silk so the sleeves ended up being tiny cap sleeves! I still like it, though!

This was the first time I got to see Michael in his hussar uniform from Waterloo in person. Swoon-worthy. :)