All posts tagged: pet en l’aire

Pet-en-l’aire magnificence

I still can’t get over how many good shots Theresa and I got from our photoshoot at the old Dominion Museum, and how spectacular Theresa looks in all of them. Her face just changes from frame to frame, meaning that I ended up with dozens of photos with almost the same pose, but, oh, what a different mood! Hehe. Do you see it? All of these photos were taken from the balcony around the entrance hall of the old Dominion Museum.  It’s such a great place to shoot – with balconies on both sides, you can get every angle, and lots of different kinds of light. I love how you can see the details of the side-pleat in these photos The only problem with these is her face is so amazing you hardly notice the outfit!

The compere front of the pet

With the back of the pet draped, I tackled the false compere front. I mentioned previously that I wasn’t sure that sewing on the compere front as a false front, sewed on to a solid bodice piece, was accurate.  I’m afraid I confused some of you, as you thought I wasn’t sure a compere front is accurate.  I know the aesthetic is right, I’m just not sure my way of doing it (creating a solid bodice foundation, and just tacking on the fashion fabric piece as a false front) is historically accurate. Janet Arnold’s pattern for a compere front gown, based on this gown, has the dress and compere front made up completely separately, with the compere front sewn in last (almost as if if was a stomacher that was sewn in), and all the other examples of compere front garments where I can determine the construction seem to have been assembled this way. So, sigh.  Mine may not be accurate.  C’est la vie.  I’ll get it right next time. I didn’t take pictures the …

18th century Orientalism and Theresa

It was interesting dressing Theresa in the pet-en-l’aire. I always visualize pet-en-l’aires on rounded, full-busted figures, with dimpled arms and round faces: the sort of figures shown in French fashion plates of the era.  Theresa is tall and slim.  The pet fit her perfectly, but the change in proportions completely changed my perception of the pet-en-l’aire aesthetic.  The pet suddenly looked elegant and exotic, rather than sweet and coquettish.  Theresa in the pet looks like a Gainsborough rather than a fashion plate. To play up the exotic aspect of the pet-en-l’aire, made as it is out of an Indienne chintz, and to worked with Theresa’s features, we focused on the orientalism so fashionable in the 18th century for the styling.  Theresa’s hair is not hedgehog-friendly, so we did a turbaned headdress, and skipped the full ‘poof’ of petticoats and bumroll. I wish I’d been able to find my proper ostrich feathers, not the skimpy ones I did find, and I still need to trim the pet and find proper silk (or at least rayon) ribbons for the …