Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A Purple Polonaise

This gown is made of a dark purple coarse silk that's pattered with flowers. Partly inspired by this blue gown in the film The Duchess, the skirt is lined in a very dark green (a slight patriotic nod to a fictitious nation in the Maelstrom world setting, Flambard, which has the national colours of purple and green). The gown also bears a resemblance to this yellow walking gown in Marie Antoinette (I can't say as historian I am at all keen on the film itself and its portrayal of the young queen, but the costumes are beautiful). It has a front closure (with hooks and eyes) and is laced at the back (done up in a rather unbecoming bit of green string in these photos, also needing to be replaced). The gown is also lightly boned, but not sufficiently so for tightlacing.

This fast becoming one of my favourite dresses and I don't say that lightly. However, it does suffer from various imperfections. I am thinking of sewing some freshwater seed pearls (storm coloured or white) along the black lace design down the front of the skirts. I'd like to match it to a lighter coloured underskirt, as whilst the black lace is lovely, it also darkens the dress considerably.

Among the many inadequacies, peeking from under the skirts is a salmon pink underskirt for a very different dress, purloined for this photoshoot to give the skirts some volume. The dress should ideally be worn over a corset and a much more voluminous underskirt, but the constraints of our schedule and various other coincidences conspired against the Costume Mercenary, but perhaps next time, when the pearls are sewn on.

The cloak with the dark red brocade lining seen in some of following pictures (under the cut) is now available at Character Kit for £95.00. The Costume Mercenary does take commissions for dresses like this one, so please email me for a quote. A dress similar to this one in construction (boned bodice, coarse real silk, lacing at the back, lace underskirt), it would cost in the region of £130-40.

These photos were taken at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, sadly no horses were available for this particular set.

Many more photos under the cut.

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