Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Flembic Splendour: Zone Front Dress with Pleated Detail and Peplum

part of a series of Maelstrom-related Portraits 
done by Chris Brett

The duel may be to first blood, or to a set number of passes or shots, or until one party yields, or until death, depending upon the nature of the offence, and by agreement of the parties concerned.

This zone front dress is made from turquoise faux silk taffeta. The dress has a front closure with hooks and eyes, a cut away skirt and a peplum on the back of the bodice. It is worn with a black lace and satin underskirt. It is trimmed in white and pale blue ribbon roses. Among other dresses, this draws inspiration from garments such as this pierrot, pleated gown and such zone front gowns of the eighteenth century.

Ideally, the dress should be worn with a white underskirt instead of a black one, but due to the limited capacity of my backpack (the adventure down south were detailed in the preview post) we had to make do with the black lace, which has very much my most versatile - and thus my standard - underskirt.

The Upper City are generally expected to mourn for two years. A wardrobe of black is adopted. No ornaments were worn, except jet, for the first year. To appear fashionable during times of mourning many would dye their clothing black. Gentlemen wore black cheviot suits with broad crape bands on their hats, and black gloves. 

Despite the seeming presence of a wind machine, all the floaty swirliness was caused by me swishing the shawl by hand. A lot of the practice from the days when I was swirling much heavier wool cloaks stood me in good stead. Whilst looking rather dramatic, much of the detail of the dress, especially of the pleats on the bodice and the peplum are lost.

The black lace shawl was actually a present from a character named Captain Shadow to my Maelstrom character (I regret to say I never ran into him again. It is, however, a gift that has come in handy more than once.) The sword was apparently borrowed from the local fencing society and the pistols from makai larp. With the exception of the backlit lace-hurling photos, these were taken by Chris Brett.

To commission a similar dress from the Mercenary would cost in the region of £90-100.

More photos of the zone front dress under the cut.

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