I am very pleased to announce that I presented a new talk yesterday – it was called “Enter the World of Jane Austen” and was commissioned by Lauriston Castle – a beautiful Edwardian Castle in Scotland near Edinburgh.
I presented a very interesting, lively and at times humorous talk about the costumes worn around the time of Jane Austen. I also included details of the design and construction of my costumes as well as a brief history of the people who wore them.
I have just completed a number of beautiful Regency Gowns as well as period underwear and accessories – four costumed mannequins accompanied my talk – outfits included:
A beautiful afternoon dress and jacket with bonnet that could have been worn by Jane Austen herself. A pretty dress in pure white windowpane cotton embellished with white Vandyke lace is worn with an elegant deep red cotton velvet Spencer decorated with military gold frogging and braid (the Spencer was a short jacket worn over the gown to add warmth). A pretty chemisette (a short sleeveless bodice)with a lace collar is worn under the gown for modesty.
(Did you know the originator of the short jacket called a spencer is thought to be Earl Spencer who singed the tails of his coat when standing beside a fire. He then had the tails trimmed off and started a fashion. So the female version was soon adopted by gentlewomen who at the time were wearing the thin light muslin dresses of the 1790s).
A stunning lilac pure silk evening/ball gown cut in period style and embellished with lilac and gold lace. This beautiful period gown is worn with an elegant exotic silk turban decorated with gold braid, a brooch, tassels and nodding ostrich plumes. The outfit is complete with shawl and matching reticule (a regency handbag).
A Masquerade Court Costume for Empress Josephine based on a portrait of her by Gerard (painted in 1801). This stunning costume consists of an empire line gold satin ball gown cut in the french style. It is worn under an ornate velvet robe with train that is lavishly embellished with spangles and gold braid. An elaborate gold jeweled diadem, fan and gloves complete this very regal outfit.
I am so pleased that my talk was so well attended and that all feedback received stated my ‘talk was excellent’ and ‘very interesting’. A couple of ladies admitted to me after my talk that they are not particularly interested in sewing and had only come to see the castle. Nevertheless they said they enjoyed my lecture immensely and would come again! I was asked to present my talk for the Jane Austen Society – I will certainly be very pleased to do so.
I really enjoy presenting my events and particularly the question and answer session afterwards.
I am pleased that visitors have a good look at/examine my costumes – I was happy to remove the purple velvet robe with train and the red velvet spencer so visitors could inspect/examine/see the construction of the gowns beneath.
My talk was followed by a beautiful cream tea and I am sure a wonderful afternoon was had by all!
I am also presenting another event at Lauriston Castle on August 24th at 2pm – it is called ‘Kings and Queens in Costume ‘.
Included are a beautiful Peacock Blue Silk Gown for Mary Queen of Scots, a Pink Silk Dress for Queen Catherine Howard (Henry VIII’s fifth wife), a stunning Court Costume for Empress Josephine – wife of Napoleon Bonaparte and a fabulous gold and jeweled outfit for Cleopatra Queen of Egypt. Also included is a personal appearance by King Henry VIII in full regalia. A special buffet afternoon tea is to be included – it will be a wonderful event I look forward to seeing you there!