-1880, portrait of a lady

Status: passed on to a friend

Year finished: 2004

To Do: n/a

Updates since last photo: n/a

Inspiration: The mourning gown from portrait of a Lady as well as original Victorian fashion plates

This gown became a reality as I wanted to test my ideas on the skirt for the red dress in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and I knew fully pleated skirts (or kilted as the fashion magazines of the day described them) were very common for the time period I was most interested in. I found the cotton fabric for the underskirt at $1/m and a good 2.4m wide as it was for curtain making. The bodice and overskirt were made in a fine cotton twill found at a 2nd hand store still on the roll from about the same price.

The bodice is a basic double dart basque bodice.

The upper skirt is a standard gored skirt (as per my Historic Skirt Guides) that was tacked into a bustle and tablier drape.

The underskirt is a tube of pleated fabric draped and cut to shape at the waist.

The bolero is more accurate to the original fashion plate in Harper’s Bazaar as I had always loved it even before I had seen the film.

The costume was made for a production of Gaslight where I played the lead- I had to age myself as well as look like I hadn’t slept in weeks so some photos show the stage make up some my natural hue.

The hairstyle is very similar to the method I describe in the link under the articles tab at the top of the page.