Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dinner dress, House of Drecoll - my take

Dress, Dinner, House of Drécoll 

One of my students and I recently created an interpretation of the beautiful dinner dress on the right, created by the House of Drécoll in 1911 - 1912.

"Drécoll was founded in 1896 by Christoff von Drécoll in Vienna, Austria where he designed fashions for the Imperial family of Austria. In 1902, a couture house was opened in Paris and run by Monsieur and Madame Besancon de Wagner. Their daughter Maggie Rouff was a talented designer, working for the house first and then later managing the business with her husband Pierre beginning in 1929. Eventually, the house merged with the House of Beer and then in 1931 they merged with the House of Agness, closing in 1963.

The classic pannier draping and long pointed train of this dress indicates the highest style of the period. Beautiful in shape and style, the piece is an elegant combination of refined materials and intricate handwork. A well-thought out and interesting detail, the semi-circular shape of the brooch mimics the shape of the bodice."

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

My student wanted something special for her daughter's wedding and she chose this gown as her challenge.

We had no pattern of course, so we looked at similar gowns of the period in Janet Arnold and other sources and then we played around and draped the toile completely from scratch.

Once we had the toile, we then created a pattern, no photos of this process sadly.

Then the world came between us and gown creation and with only a week away from the wedding we started making the gown! We started the Thursday week before the wedding and finished on the Wednesday before it!

Kerrie chose beautiful peacock coloured silks for her gown. This photo also demonstrate the brilliant 'meat fork pleating' technique that I recently learnt from Starlight Masquerade it is brilliant for creating perfect pleats every time!

As this was to be a modern gown we didn't create it in the Edwardian fashion, for example, there is no boned bodice, but we did use the 'staywaist' tape to join the multiple bodices (three) and skirts (two).

So here is our take on the House of Drécoll, its much shorter than the original and I would have liked a better drape of the front skirt to get that bias swirl, but time was 'agin us'.

I am very proud of Kerry, she had to take on a very steep learning curve and the results were well worth it as the photos below demonstrate!

One last thing, on the Thursday before the wedding, Kerry made her husband a tie that matched her outfit, he was the father of the bride and needed to look his best as he walked down the aisle with her :) Here's a photo ...

, I will make this gown for me one day, but I will use Edwardian techniques throughout.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jane Austen Festival Australia 2012 ~ my impressions

'Off on pleasure bent again Lizzie' Mr Bennett, Pride and Prejudice

And so it was for we lucky attendees at the 2012 Jane Austen Festival Australia run by the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy and for me, it was the best costuming event I have been too in many years.

The event is excellently priced, the attendees are friendly and pleased to be there, the venue perfect, the food wholesome, abundant and often home made, we went to balls, attended the play, danced our feet off at workshops and the ball, we shot arrows from our bows, attended fascinating talks on the time and life of Jane Austen. It was delightful!

Here are some of my photos from the event, you can view more on my FB The Tailor's Apprentice photo stream ...

Archery, yes, with modern bows, but still great fun
Some of our lovely ladies from the Australian Costumers Guild
Dance exhibitions by Aylwen and John Garden-Gardiner and friends
Glove buttons can be so awkward
Dance classes
Dancing the set
Archery with a repro 19th century bow
The dandies at the ball
The ball!
The maypole dance
beautiful ladies of the Australian Costumers Guild
Elegant gents at the promenade