All posts tagged: chemise a la reine

Goddesses and queens in the Rose Garden

Last Sunday Elisabeth the Sewphist and Sarah of Capital Adventures and I had a photoshoot in the Rose Garden and Greenhouse at the Wellington Botanical Gardens. The photoshoot didn’t go quite to plan – Madame O was supposed to join us and wear her fabulous frilly pink polonaise gown, and I was wearing my chemise a la reine and was going to bring 18th century for Elisabeth, and we would have been the perfect late 18th century trio.  But Madame O couldn’t make it, and I couldn’t find a petticoat for Elisabeth, and we ran dreadfully late in getting ready.  And my hat just wouldn’t sit right. But I sucked up the hat, brought my green silk satin pseudo 1930s Stella gown for Elisabeth to wear, and we caught the last hour that the Greenhouse was open and the last of the Rose Garden sunshine and had a lovely time anyway. Elisabeth channeled the (rather strange) statue in the begonia house in both elegant and literal fashion.  Sarah wore the tropical flowers without picking them. …

Chemise a la Yay!

I finished my chemise a la reine well over a year ago, and you know what? I have never worn the completed garment myself.  Not once. It’s been on quite a few models, but it’s never been on me!  How is that possible!?! Just too busy I guess, and no good excuse to wear it. Last Thursday I finally had the perfect excuse; I gave a talk to the Wellington Quilters Guild on Marie Antoinette and the chemise a la reine (provocatively titled ‘The Queen’s Underwear: How Marie Antoinette’s Un-dress Caused a Revolution’ – because a catchy title is always a good thing) and of course I needed to wear the chemise to make the talk come to life. At the last minute fate tried to conspire against me to force me to get a model for the talk.  I was a bridesmaid on Sat and had to schedule a haircut and style before the wedding, and when was the only appointment I could get?  That’s right – right before my talk.  Eeeek! No point …

18th Century Masquerade Costumes

A reader asked me about 18th century Masquerade costumes. Specifically, she wants to make an 18th century Grecian inspired masquerade costume. How fun!  It’s right up my alley!  I wish I had the time and reason to make one too! The theme allows for either full on stays, stomachers and paniered robes, or simpler flowing ‘negligee’, permissible under the guise of classical inspiration. There are so many possibilities! Goddesses have always been popular, and would be perfectly appropriate – one of the top masquerade destinations in 18th century London was the Pantheon. I could do Athena, goddess of wisdom, with a medusa-head stomacher. Or Diana, goddess of the moon and the hunt, with star and moon spangled hair, and even stags and bow and arrows (if I was feeling really over the top!) I bet Venus was popular in the 18th century; the goddess of love could wear a rose-wreathed frock, and have a miniature cupid in her hair. There are non-goddess options available too: Elisabeth Cudleigh, Maid of Honour to Princess Augusta of Wales, …