Saturday, 31 December 2011

Thank you Father Christmas!!

So I try to keep the huge list of costume books that I want/need for Christmas and birthdays, mainly as I would be constantly broke, but also as I believe that that is how life should be; we shouldn't have everything that we want immediately- I mean, should we!?

And good old Father Christmas did not let me down!! My lovely family bought me 2 books which I have been hankering over for the last year or two:

 'A History of Costume in the West'. Francois Boucher - Thames & Hudson
1996. This book is great- tonnes of colour images, and fantastic text including contextual historical information as well as the detailed fashion and textiles documentation.  * This book is currently out of print, so second hand copies are few and far between, and on the pricier side.

This second book I wanted for a particular reason-

Inside there is the only image that I have seen so far of a Regency dress fastened at the back with the Dorset buttons which I make:

'The Art of Dress ~ Clothes and Society 1500-1914' Jane Ashelford - The National Trust. 1996. The aforementioned dress is in the Killerton Collection, at Killerton House, Devon. Flicking through this one, it has detailed descriptions about the life and work of seamstresses & tailors, and chronicles the development of shops and retailing. I was also interested to read that Rudolph Ackermann (of Repository of Arts fame), "boasted that he was the first shopkeeper to have his premises illuminated by gas when it was installed there (101 Strand, London) in 1810".

Costume Films:
I am so excited about one of these, that I am afraid that if I do watch it, and it doesn't live up to my expectations, I will be terribly disappointed!! A few months ago I read 'So Bright and Delicate: Love letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne' by Penguin Classics. It had me enthralled. He wrote so beautifully; I was sad when it ended (as of course, does his life along with the book).
If I am feeling brave, I might tuck myself up in bed and watch this tonight. I must admit, I can't wait to see all those Regency fashions!!

The other film is 'Young Victoria'. I was very interested in the late 1830s fashion here, so will be writing again with what I thought of them.  I LOVE the fact that Queen Victoria was lucky enough to have fallen in love with Albert, as the marriage was (like all English monarchical marriages until very recently) in all reality an arranged one.

I will just leave you with one image of Fanny Brawne, who went on the marry another, and had 3 surviving children. Isn't she lovely?

A very happy New Year to all!!

with love,