Sunday, February 2, 2014

Costume College, 2014

I just went through and made my reservations for Costume College.  Sooooo excited, as this will be my very first year going.  But oh my gods, what should I wear?  My Honey is coming along, too, but will only be joining me for the gala, so that's only one extra costume, there.  I've already laid claim to a design for the the 18th Century Court Ensembles:

Queen Maria Carolina of Naples-Two Sicilies, née Archduchess of Austria

Over the course of the next month, I'm going to be tackling the court panniers and the petticoat.  These conveniently fit under the next two HSF challenges: Pink and Under it All.  I had wanted to avoid doing white under bits, so I'm dyeing up the fabric for the panniers a lovely coral pink (pink enough to count, not so pink as to make me twitch).  I'll need to find myself an ivory fabric for the petticoat, though.  And I also got in the fabric for the dress itself.  I found a rayon faille on sale from Denver Fabrics that I'm going to dye up cardinal red.

I've also been tossing around some ideas with Honey about his costume.  By far, the most exciting option seems to be recreating the outfit worn by Sir John Acton, an Englishman employed by the queen to reform the the state's army (and whom the gossip mongers of the time assumed she was carrying on an affair).  I just love the black with the primary colors.  Not the fancy pants you're used to seeing in men's court-appropriate fashions.  Does anyone have an insight into what those sashes represent or if they're more complex than the sashes worn in beauty pagents?

Sir John Acton, 6th Baronet, c. 1811

The only drawback is that this painting dates over twenty years after the dress I'm doing from the 1770s.  But we'll see.  I'm still on the lookout for an earlier portrait of Sir John.  We'll see what I can come up with. While I think he'd look lovely in a pretty blue silk outfit, I don't think I could do the level of embroidery that I'd want in the time frame that we have.

A check of the Costume College Facebook page shows that the theme for the Friday Ice Cream Social is 'Club Ice'.  Hmm... maybe that Mr Freeze costume can get worn again, after all.  But do I really want to shave my head the day before having to wear a frankly ridunculous 18th century wig?  Perhaps that bag of wig tape will come in handy, after all.  The Thursday Pool Party and Sunday Tea still seem to be sans theme.  I suppose the court wear is going to prohibit me from doing anything too complex for them, anyhow.  But it'd be nice to be able to start plotting.

The discouraging of wearing costumes into the classrooms dissapoints me a bit, though.  While yes, I totally agree that large and elaborate costumes can be quite distracting, I'm sad to loose all those opportunities to wear the costumes that don't fit in a big social event.  Costume College veterans (alum?), how much of your day time is actually spent in classes and tours?  If there are actually large chunks of time spent loitering and socializing during the day, then yay!  More opportunities to wear the not-so-fancy stuffs.

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