When I plan for big costuming events like talks and Costume College I always have ambitious ideas of new things I’m going to make, and realistic back-up plans of things that are already in my costuming wardrobe that I can pull out in a pinch if I can’t sew as fast as I had hoped to.
I had grand plans of a new 1920s dress for Costume College 2017, but things just kept going wrong in the months leading up to CoCo, and eventually I had to concede that it just wasn’t going to happen.
My backup dress was the 1921 ‘Daisies and the Devil’s Handiwork’ frock (go read that post! It’s a very good post!). I was feeling pretty meh about it when I packed it, but it turned out to be pretty much my favourite thing that I wore the whole weekend! Super comfortable, I felt gorgeous, and I got SO many complements, and tons of people (including lots I thought couldn’t possibly be fooled!) thought it was true vintage. (yes, I even liked it more than my gala gown, because I wasn’t conflicted about the finish, or stressed about getting it done!).
I only got a couple of photos of me in the 1921 dress at CoCo, and while I look adorable in them (I’m sorry, claiming anything less would be false modesty!), they aren’t great photos.
So when I got home I resolved to take photos in it as soon as the weather warmed up. The weather has WARMED (we’re having an almost unprecedentedly warm and dry spring), but all attempts to schedule a shoot fell apart, until last weekend. Mr D and I went for a walk in Otari-Wiltons bush, which has both untouched native forests, and beautiful native botanical gardens. It was so pretty that after dinner I suggested we go back and take some photos.
30 minutes later (yay 1920s! so fast for getting dressed!) we were at the gardens. I wasn’t particularly optimistic about what we’d get. We didn’t have a lot of time before the light went, I’d never done photos in the part of the garden we were in, so didn’t know how to coach Mr D on the light without a lot of trial and error. I just told him to do whatever he felt like, and if we didn’t get anything, c’est la vie.
No matter what, we’d have a wonderful time: all the native birds were incredibly active, with tuis singing their hearts out and having little territorial flights, and kereru sitting on branches almost within arms reach, and blundering from tree to tree. I felt like I’d stepped into my own movie. ‘Enchanted December-is-basically-April in New Zealand’.
I was sure I’d look daft in every photograph: slack jawed with delight. I couldn’t stop looking up at the tree tops in wonderment, and basically bouncing up and down as birds flew around me.
And then, 30 photos in, my camera battery dies. No worries, I brought the backup!
Which I hadn’t charged…
So it died 5 photos later.
That’s OK, I had my other camera!
Which ALSO had a low battery that died after about 7 photos.
So we switched to my iPhone. Not as good at taking photos, but at least it had plenty of battery life!
When I got home and looked at the photos I couldn’t believe it. Hardly a dud in them. Usually we take 200 photos and 20 of them are ones I’d be willing to have the public see in any way, manner, shape and form. This time it was 150! Mr D outdid himself, and slack jawed with delight suits me!
I have culled, and culled, and here are a few of my favourites. They aren’t technically perfect photos, but Mr D is not a photographer, and he was doing exceptionally well under trying circumstances.
I’m wearing the dress with Rosalie stockings, American Duchess Moliere shoes (review coming soon!), vintage faux-pearl earrings, and a light half-corset. The Scroop Rilla corset would be perfect to wear with a 1921 dress, but it was very hot, and I was too lazy to go digging in the corset storage for one when the other one was already out.
(that is definitely a ‘I just saw an amazing bird’ face!)
I think this dress is magical. I’m always worried about it, and it always delivers, and then some!