I took delivery of my Victorian gown last week and am impressed by the work of my talented seamstress friend, Patricia Ricci. The dress is gorgeous, and I’m thrilled with it.
I’m looking forward to wearing the dress for the first time at the Awards Ceremony at the ACFW conference being held in St. Louis September 22-25. But as any Victorian lady could have told us, the dress itself is only one part of the ensemble. While of primary importance, one must have one’s accessories if one is to be properly attired.
Not only did Patricia create a stunning gown, she also agreed to design a hat to match. And what a hat! I squealed with delight when I saw it the first time. I think she outdid herself.
Patricia found flowers the exact shade of the dress and used black feathers and ribbon to match the trim on the dress. (Note: the coquettish smile was aimed at my Gwynly. :-))
Since I have a modern haircut, I asked Patricia to add a bow to cover the back of my head. She used the same fabric as the dress and added wide black ribbon. It looks great.
Since the dress has a V-neckline similar to what a married woman (or widow, which the heroine of my debut novel is) would have worn to a formal evening event such as the concert that takes place at one point in the story, I wanted to find a necklace. My writer friend, Karen Hansen, found this one for me on Amazon, and thought I might like it. How right she was. I love that it’s both locket and watch, the kind of item my heroine would have had for sale in her shop–one in direct competition with the hero’s. 😉
A Victorian lady wore gloves in all seasons. I found a satin pair with beaded scallops that look quite feminine. The fan is an accessory with many uses. It had a language all its own. A lady could let a man know she was interested–or not–by holding it in certain ways. I was delighted with the fan I found, which is made of Battenburg lace.
A Victorian lady carried a small handbag called a reticule. It could be a drawstring or clasp variety. I opted for a fancy beaded reticule with sequins. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the beading creates a floral pattern. The bag has a rounded bottom.
I found an adorable pair of boots. The laces are for looks since there are zippers on the sides. While I want to dress as a Victorian lady, I opted to use modern materials for price and care considerations. In the case of the boots, those worn by my heroine would not have had the laces threaded through grommets since they’d not come into wide use yet.
I’m essentially playing a grown-up version of dress-up and am happy to look the part of a Victorian lady even though I’m really a modern imitation. 🙂