Sometimes, you just want to go to an event, even if the historical era is not your bag, baby. Maybe you’re trying something new, maybe the event sounds like fun because it’s at a fabulous venue or it has a great combo of activities, or maybe all your friends are going, or it could be all of the above. And you don’t have anything in your costume closet to wear.
I’m in exactly this position. I decided to buy a ticket to the GBACG’s Last Dinner on the Titanic, which is a very fancy recreation of the ill-fated ship’s extraordinary final meal, complete with a multicourse dinner & dancing to a live band, all in a beautiful setting (where last year we experienced the very enjoyable Petit Trianon event). 1910s is not a particular interest of mine, nor is the Titanic (& especially not the movie of the same name, bleh). But the venue & details of the event sound divine, plus all my best friends wanted to go. I toyed with various ideas of making a gown, even buying something vintage (as I used to have a perfect & authentic 1910s gown, but it shattered literally as I wore at the Costume College Gala one year).
Finally, I gave up & decided to buy something that was close-but-not-quite appropriate, or period-esque as one might say. Or, as Sarah so aptly said, we’re throwing money at the problem (because she joined me in the dress-buying spree for this event :-). I picked out the Reverie Dress from Victorian Trading Company, which I’m sure I’ll need to have professionally shortened. But hey, the cost of tailoring is less than the cost of a migraine from me fussing with all those ruffles!
Of course, a new dress requires a new tiara. None of mine had quite that Art Deco flare that the Titanic event required (in my mind, anyway). Off to eBay, where I found this baby, & oh, does it look good on. I have a load of blingy jewelry in my collection to add to the effect, plus a black burnout velvet shawl to throw around my shoulders & my 1980s vintage Bandolino two-strap pumps on my feet (same shoes I’ve worn to the Gatsby picnic). I just need some white opera gloves, & then the costume is done.
Well, all except for the backwards-documentation… see, after I picked out this dress, I wanted to figure out if it’s at least plausible for the period… here’s what I found…
I couldn’t find a 1912 evening gown with lots of ruffles, just a few tiers. But there are 1914 ruffled day dresses very much in the vein of the Victorian Trading Company dress. And the dress I bought *does* have the overall silhouette of an 1912 evening gown. Yeah, not accurate, but close enough for me!