Monday, June 15, 2015

Regency Style at History Alive

Queen's Birthday long weekend in June each year brings with it our annual re-enactment event, History Alive, held out at Fort Lytton. This year, my group RIFF decided that we would do a split period weekend so that the interested few of us could introduce a whole new period and display.

But first up, we reprised Regency for Saturday. Our main display is breakfast, one of the biggest meals of the day in middle to upper class regency times. The event opens at 9.30am, so we held off with our breakfast until 10.30 this year. Unfortunately it wasn't included in the program (it's apparently too hard to write "Saturday only" after the listing) so we didn't exactly have many people to talk to about food in Regency times. A real shame as one of our ladies had done quite a lot of research and prepared her talk. At any rate, we had a lovely time. 

After breakfast and washing our dishes, we spent out time in ladylike pursuits - sketching, watercolours, sewing. I was working on a new bonnet. I also spent some time taking photos of my fellow re-enactors in our group. 

We also used our promenade time to venture over to a special display for the event - a 15th Century Caravel ship (the Notorious). The ship has been built in Australia from reclaimed timber and is a faithful reconstruction. It is beautifully done and I was glad that I went on board to have a look-see and took some photos. 

We rounded out our day with tiffen (Regency afternoon tea) including the luxurious pineapple, before the public left for the day and we were able to pack up.

For the occasion, I finally finished my newest regency dress - a grey self stipe silk cotton (burn test tells me this). This is one that I had started last year but the event I was to wear it to was moved and I could no longer attend. Thus, it was tossed into the corner and left until I actually needed a new dress. Thankfully I only had the sleeves to insert and the hem to finish, so it was a quick whip up. The dress is inspired by very late Georgian styles (1790s). I wore it in a transitional style. I much prefer the fuller skirts on the transition between Georgian and Regency - so much more flattering, and I have included the inspiration painting that I based my dress on. I did make new stays as well, but they were unfortunately too big so I have plans to re-make them to fit.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I adore your red and white Regency gown. Such a smashing color combination, along with an epic chapeau!