In the dressing room

The photographs from the dressing room from Saturday’s Grandeur & Frivolity talk demonstrate more than ever how indebted I am to all my friends for their wonderful help and support with these events.

Sarah of Capital Adventures (e.g. Diana Villiers) was the official photographer and took the photos.

Mrs C of the Hectic Eclectic did the amazing hairdos.  And the poor sweetie wasn’t feeling well, so she didn’t even stay for the performance.

Joie de Vivre and Shell were super wonderful and did a bunch of evil, evil handsewing, which I ended up not even using because my lovely mother in law and my sister, the Naiad, showed up in time with the backup dress.  And then my mother in law sewed the last of the buttons on my 18th century men’s breeches.  I owe those four majorly!

Madame Ornata let me use both her pet en l’aire and her (barely!) finished polonaise, which she had to hem in the dressing room.

Bianca the mezzo-soprano let me put her in a scratchy wig and stays to sing in

Clarissa, our music expert, had to wait until the very last minute for me to find her dress, even though she was first on.

Daniil, the male model, managed to get dressed, politely, in a room full  of girls.  And did all his own bows.

The Blonde Venus learned how to do the minuet at 10am that morning.  And did it onstage with a professional historical dancer.

And everyone put up with me running round like a chicken without a head tossing off orders.

Every last person in that room was awesome.

The Blonde Venus laces in Bianca, the singer

Pinning on Chiara's fichu for the Ninon dress

Mrs C does Madame Ornata's hair

Joie de Vivre and Shell hard at work

Daniil figures out the buttons on his waistcoat

Mad chaos of half laced stays, half dressed models and fabulous friends



  1. One of my readers had a comment about spiral vs criss-cross lacing. I know that we’re using spiral for stays, and criss-cross for Victorian corsets, but is spiral typical of some periods, or is it a matter of personal preference or fit or something else I haven’t considered?

    • Excellent question! Criss cross wasn’t used for structural lacing until the 19th century. You see it used decoratively across stomachers in the 18th century, but there isn’t a single extent garment or painting from pre 1810ish (have to check on the exact date) that utilised criss-cross lacing for actual tightening. Why this is I’m not sure. Maybe someone else knows?

  2. Zach says

    That sounds like it was magnificently fun (albeit stressful)! It would be so neat to participate in an event like that!

  3. It is always fun, in a masochistic kind of way that is hehehe. Dreamstress darling may I say how lovely it is to see a room full of richly coloured gowns! They positively glow like a Rembrandt painting. Gorgeous 🙂

    • Oh Mrs C, don’t even go there! I love my neutrals, I love my rich saturated natural dyes, I hate synthetic brights, end of story.

      • Agreed, not into synthetic brights either, well not in this context. It wasn’t the amount of colour but the kind of colours, especially Ninon’s lovely golden burnished yellow. It looked just like it does in the painting. I love those off beat natural colours. Not more than the softer palate, but with it. Who could not love your gorgeous warm silver robe a la francaise! And the rich blue of Bianca’s dress was so lovely with it. Delicious 🙂

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