In writing an account of the Ball for The Graphic, Lady Violet Greville felt, as she spoke of the Princess of Wales, constrained to quote the 16th-century French author Brantôme who described Marguerite de Valois as “robed in cloth of silver with long sleeves, her hair richly dressed and her whole appearance of such grace and majesty that she resembled more a goddess from heaven than a Queen upon earth.”
At long last I can share my costume with the world. Eight months ago I entered my final year at Wimbledon College of Art studying Costume Interpretation. Our first assignment was to create a costume to compliment the new exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace entitled ‘In Fine Style’. As I walked around the Red Room during the Da Vinci exhibition I could never imagine that just a short while later my own costume would grace this majestic room.
I chose to recreate the fancy dress costume of Alexandra, Princess of Wales dressed as Marguerite de Valois worn to the Duchess of Devonshire House Ball in 1897. As I was the intern for The Tudor Tailor last year and helped to make the costumes and work on the photo shoot for the new book The Tudor Child (I cried when I found my name in the Acknowledgements) I was requested to create the costume of the Hon. Louvima Knollys who accompanied Alexandra as her page.
The skirt and bodice is entirely finished by hand. I started with eight small appliqués to build my shape and completed the surface decoration by hand based on the photos. I thought after this costume I would never wish to string another pearl or couch another row again but for my final costume I am still working on beading. I was able to study close ups of the image at the National Archives and I was graciously granted permission to study hi-res images of the 4 existing photographs of Alexandra. Both of these allowed me to re-create what is hopefully a very close historic reproduction of this costume.
I am grateful to both of my models, to all of the researchers who assisted me in this endeavour to track down photos to study, to you my followers who continue to inspire me, and most of all to my mother who was very patient during my frantic midnight phone calls.
I will leave you with the quote that first came to mind when my models descended the staircase into the gallery last night, ‘ She [Alexandra] came down one day in a marvellous … long flowering train. She dazzled me utterly, I was speechless with adoration’.
Good Lord, this is absolutely stunning. The definition of “masterpiece.” Holy mackerel.
This highly detailed Victorian gown was first seen on Kate Beckinsale as Maggie Verver in 2000 in The Golden Bowl. It was used again on Frances O’Connor as Rose Selfridge in a 2012 episode of Mr.Selfridge.
Costume Credit: Cintia
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DOLCE & GABBANA FW 2006
crying because i’ll never be rich enough to afford this perfect outfit.
The Lady Jilli will roll her eyes at how much I’m coveting this (YES I am aware of the impracticality of capes) but sweeping around in this would be decidedly lovely. And that VEST….
Pumpkin, I am NOT rolling my eyes at your coveting, believe me. It’s a gorgeous outfit, and I do love capes, no matter how impractical they are.
I don’t think one needs to be rich to closely mimic the look above. After all, it’s basically a white blouse, a black waistcoat, black dress pants, and a gray wool cape. I’m all about taking high fashion and finding ways to replicate it on a thrift store budget. :)
The linked headstones of two lovers who refused to let go, even in Death
Until 40 years ago, Catholic and protestant establishments in the Netherlands were separate from one another as a result of Pillarisation, a widespread politico-denominational segregation. Churches, supermarkets, and other public places were segregated by religious and political beliefs.
All of this sets the scene to the story of Protestant Colonel J.C.P.H of Aeffderson and Catholic noblewoman J.W.C Van Gorkum. Their marriage would’ve caused a storm of scandal back in the 19th century. Not only was it religiously mixed, but they were from two very different social classes. However, despite all of the taboo in 19th century society, the couple’s marriage lasted for 40 years, only ending with the colonel’s death.
Eight years later, when his wife passed away, her wishes dictated that she wanted to be buried next to her husband. Pillarisation was still in effect at the time, and according to the law, this was impossible. However, with a little creative stonework, both Husband and wife were linked eternally together in a different way.
More info here !
O Pamela, I’m burning with love for you.
Honoré Daumier, from Daumier, peintre et lithographe (Daumier, painter and lithographer), by Raymond Escholier, Paris, 1923.
O Pamela, I’m burning with love for you.
Dude may want to see a doctor about that…