Showing posts from December, 2011

Winifred Scawen Blunt's Gown

When I visited the Albany Institute on Friday to meet the curator, under whom I will be working as an intern, I went up and walked around the galleries - I think my main objective was a second look at the permanent exhibitions Sense of Place: 18th and 19th Century Paintings and Sculpture and Traders and Culture: Colonial Albany and the Formation of American Identity, which offer many paintings of people in clothing, which is my favorite aspect of paintings.  (Mantua fans will be interested in the portrait of Ariaantje Coeymans Verplanck attr. to Nehemiah Partridge.)  While I walked, my eye was caught by a double portrait of Samuel Blunt, Esquire of Horsham, and Winifred Scawen Blunt, by Johann Zoffany . (I regret immensely that I can't find a picture of this painting anywhere, and I beg that you believe my description.) What attracted my attention was the clothing of the Blunts: he is dressed in what looks like a military uniform, with a bright red coat and pale breeches,

Boué Soeurs

Quite a change in subject matter, but I've started working on a story set in 1920 and my costume thoughts have been there lately. The Boué sisters, Madame Sylvie Montegut and Baronne Jeanne d’Etreillis, opened their Parisian fashion house in 1899.  (It's speculated that Sylvie was more involved in design and Jeanne was more of a businesswoman.)  Few extant garments from their early years survive, however, and so the two are associated more strongly with the 1920s. From the Renseignments Commerciaux, "Formations des Sociétés," of Le Jacquard (1901). "Toilettes, par M mes Boué Sœurs", Femina , p. 592 (1905): Robe de tulle point d'esprit noir incruste de dentelle blanche pailletée. Corsage de point d'esprit recouvert d'une berthe de dentelle. Gros nœud de liberty ciel à la jupe. Robe empire en velours chiffon vert, grand empiècement à jour en malines, petites couronnes de taffetas vert. Robe de mousseline de soie rose, g

Thesis Update - Nearly There!

I probably would have been at this point several days ago, but I went with the Theory "batiste" from my swatches , and it proved to be more like a tightly-woven percale, and I was having the hardest time getting pins and needles into it.  Let this be a lesson: always test a swatch by pleating it heavily and putting a pin into it.  Since it didn't work, I went to Joann's in Queensbury and got some rather cheap Sew Essentials muslin, which actually seems like a reasonably close approximation for period muslin, to me.  Maybe a little less transparent, but it's very light.  Anyway, I then went ahead with the petticoat of my own design.