As you might remember, I finished the Courtois dress sometime in July, but because I've been busy and because we've had about the hottest summer in ages, I haven't got around photographing the dress and writing a post about it. Today, however, my friend had time to join me in a nearby park to help me photo my first finished late Victorian, natural form project.
The dress is based on a portrait by a French painter Gustave Courtois; in 1880 he painted Anne-Marie Dagnan, his father's cousin and the fiancée of his good friend. I fell in love with her dress and even though I had never dabbled with Victorian fashions before, I wanted to give it a try.
I took the dress pattern from The Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume I
by Frances Grimble. I modified the bodice fronts to match the portrait dress and took inspiration for the front closures from this extant dress
. Also, I'm indebted to many of my readers for giving me advice and encouragement during the project; one of my friends even took the trouble to book a study appointment in the costume museum in Bath and photograph a dress from the same era for me! How nice is that?!
Under the dress I'm wearing my late Victorian corset (the pattern of which I took from Norah Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines
chemise and a petticoat. I think I might want to make a corset cover, a
balayeuse for the train and possibly some natural form supportive
garments for the skirts that were so expertly researched and produced by
all, really. I'm reasonably pleased with the ensemble, though there are
things I'm still going to tweak. Also, there's the evening bodice to
Pictures? A word of warning, there are loads. A plethora, if you will. Not for the fainthearted :)
All the photos here by Suvi Saraste.
|Practicing my regal wave. Apparently balconies make me feel very queenly.|
|A gentle breeze caressing my cheeks...|
|Graffitis, very interesting, my dears.|
|On the pier|
|The building with the tall chimneys is the local university, my current place of employment. It used to be a cotton mill from the 1850s to the 1950s.|
|A bit of unladylike galloping|
My goodness...your portrait dress is so gorgeous!! You have truly done a fabulous job on it! The smcking and gathering turned out so great! Your photos are fun. Looooove the unladylike galloping! The colors of the bows is a wonderful accent to the dress fabric and the pleating on your skirt divine!!! Well done sitting for your photograph as well! I love portrait dresses!VastaaPoista
Thank you so much, Gina!VastaaPoista
Like Gina I love your portrait dress. The smocking is just fabulous!
Beautiful! The smocking is especially impressive! :) I so admire natural form styles, but haven't found the motivation to finish one for myself yet.VastaaPoista
Thank you! Smocking is fun to sew and I really like the natural form fashion too, all those elegant lines and the narrow silhouette.Poista
Oh WOW! That is such a gorgeous dress, and beautiful photos too! I'm in awe of your smocking. The whole thing is so well done!VastaaPoista
You are making me want another natural form dress now! lol!
Thank you very much! I'm glad you like it! For a first Victorian dress this was a nice project; I only wish there was an event where I could wear it :) You should definitely make another natural form dress! For some reason this era doesn't seem to be as popular as the bustle periods sandwiching it :)Poista
That's so gorgeous!!! Lovely photos, I love being able to see how the dress moves.VastaaPoista
Thank you! It really means a lot to hear it from you! :)Poista
Fabulous details and the lines of the gown are so elegant. There can never be too many photos. :)VastaaPoista
Thank you very much! I, too, like the narrow silhouette and the elegance of the natural form era :)Poista
Thank you for showing us this pure beauty. It's stunning, and inspiring. There's a bit of envy in my eyes when looking at your photoshoot. So, I hope you'll do more dres from that era.VastaaPoista
Thank you very much for your kind words! Who knows, I might make another natural form gown in the future :)Poista
(sorry if my english is bad, I'm a french speaker)VastaaPoista
Ooo I love the back! I love the front, too! And the smocking is, of course, quite amazing. The picture in silhouette on the pier is wonderful!VastaaPoista
Thank you! The seaside photos were quite unplanned, but turned out well!Poista
Dress is beyond fabulous, your smocking looks too perfect to be real, and you look amazing in it.VastaaPoista
Thank you very much! You're making me blush :)Poista
What a beautiful dress. I love the colour, and your smocking is exquisite. Looking forward to seeing the evening bodice!VastaaPoista