Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Venice Costume Update

Taking this week off of work on hats (mostly) to sew costumes for my upcoming trip to Venice for Carnavale, my husband John and I are going to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We met at a Halloween party, and married on Halloween in full costume, so it seems appropriate to go to the granddaddy of all dress-up for the occasion. Last May, we decided we were going to go to Carnavale in 2011, and started out with so many plans- a new totally complicated historical costume for every day! For two weeks! Plans which, over the last few months, have been whittled down to a smaller number of hopefully more attainable goals. If we could get one really good outfit completed for each of us, I would be thrilled, but hopefully we'll have two or three. We're making this outfit for my husband.

The only differences in the finished outfit will be the hat (he probably wants a bicorn instead), and that the jacket will be a cut-away rather than double-breasted. I've been struggling with the jacket for months and hope to finish it this week. I took a tailoring class this fall to brush up on the subject, and this was my class project, which unfortunately wasn't done by the end of term. It's coming together nicely but slow, slow, slow. John is working on the black waistcoat and breeches.

To take some of the pressure off, I've hired my friends at Dark Garden to make parts of my outfits, so I have more time to finish this red jacket and make lots of skirts. They are making the following two bodices, with integrated corsets, using the basic corset / bodice shape from their fantastic Dollymop line.

This is everybody's dream jacket from the Kyoto Costume Institute. It gets copied a lot, but I still love it. We're doing it with a smaller collar, and the grain lines will be a little bit different because of the way the corset is pieced together, but it will be otherwise pretty much the same.

I'm also making a matching skirt. I haven't decided yet whether to have the skirt meet in the center front, or have a cut-away front with a white underskirt showing. I bought a truckload of this fabric from Renaissance Fabrics a while back, so I might have enough for both. I might also wear it with a contrasting skirt, like black or ivory wool. We're bringing a lot of separates to mix and match.

Dark Garden is also making me a plaid corset with matching caged sleeves, modeled on the bodice in this portrait of Flora MacDonald.

It will be made in Wallace tartan.

18th century clothes looks insanely great in plaid. The skirt, the underlay in the sleeves, and the bows down the front will all be in a mustardy yellow silk taffeta that matches the yellow stripe in the plaid. I think I need a huge crazy wig with lots of flowers in it to go with it...

I think I also need this jacket (who doesn't?), in black, but I'm not sure where the time will come from, so it's on my 'maybe' list. We leave to go to Venice on February 23.

But, I do need a black outfit for this classic Carnavale 'domino' look, so I might have to squeeze that jacket into the schedule somehow. John's project for the week is to make us some black cloaks.

We have a few other ideas, including some upgrades to our circus outfits, and one of the parties we're attending has a Baroque Manga theme- a Japanese anime take on the 18th century. For that one, I'm thinking red tabbed corset and frilly white shirt, with a red sparkly panniers (borrowed from my friend Autumn) worn over bloomers. And a huge wig, of course. For a 'spring flowers' party we also might attend, I was thinking about shaking it up by going as screwed up drag queen flower children, like this.

This idea was also inspired by the silly dance club scene in one of my all-time favorite movies, Danger Diabolik.

Sorry I don't have great 'in process' photos of all our projects, but that would cut into sewing time, which we don't have enough of to begin with. Speaking of which, it's time to go back to work now. That jacket isn't going to sew itself (unfortunately). Lots of photos after the trip, though.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delightful! You're so inspiring. You will have loads of fun, I love Venice so much. When I visited at the age of 26, I was crying everyday after I woke up and went outside, I was so moved by the beauty.