Monday, 10 September 2012

The Masked Duelist: Red Shot Silk Dress

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

Membership of one's club is part and parcel of nobility, and one's choice of club (and a club's choice in one) is as much a testament to social standing as any other could be. Noted clubs such as Langars and Bites are old, even ancient, and their dark oak-panelled walls have seen many matters of great import discussed and fortunes made or destroyed in a single night.

I cannot quite believe how long this has languished in the Drafts folder of this blog. But here it is now, just in time for the last event of Maelstrom in less than a week.

The playing card is, of course, a reference to the prestigious Prince Edmond Dueling Club in the New World. Each member is given upon joining a playing card, signifying their status within the club and they move up the hierarchy by dueling members with the next card above theirs. The hierarchy determines things such as priority with regard to training opportunities.

Myself as the character, Odette, has probably fought far more duels masked (sometimes claiming very, very unconvincingly to be her own brother) than otherwise, so the red leather mask seemed only appropriate.

The red gown is made from a shot silk (also known as changeable taffeta) with white-and-gold embroidered panels. The difference in colour between the warp and the weft isn't particularly dramatic, being only different shades of red, but I do believe it gives a lovely depth of colour that a plain taffetta wouldn't. Unlike many of the other layered dresses on this blog, the underskirt is built as part of the dress, which makes for a cleaner line and less bulk at the waist (as well as faster costume changes) but does rather decrease potential versatility.

The dress also has two pockets hidden in the flair of the sleeves, near the elbow. Handy for fans, masks, playing cards and assorted other indispensable accouterments.

A similar gown would cost in the region of £130-40.

More photos of the Red Taffetta Dress under the cut.

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