London: The Planning Continues…

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The planning for our upcoming trip continues and naturally, we’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices to visit. 🙂 As previously mentioned, the V&A Museum is at the top of our “to do” list but there are others to consider…

One strong contender is the Museum of the City of London with its varied exhibits on the history of London itself ranging from the prehistoric to the modern. One of the galleries that really caught my eye was the one covering the Roman Era from AD 50 to AD 410 (hey, once upon a time, I was a Classics major in college 🙂 ).

Bucklersbury Mosaic, AD 250

Another contender is the Tate Britain (formerly named the Tate Gallery) which houses British art from 1500 to the present. While we appreciate all eras of art, we’re drawn to the “Impressionists in London” exhibit which runs through May (perfect for us). Better yet, they have some of our more favorite artists such as James Tissot who has always been a source of inspiration for us:

Karin Tissot

Portrait 1876 by James Tissot 1836-1902

James Tissot, “Summer” (Portrait), 1876

James Tissot 1874

James Tissot, “Ball on Shipboard”, 1874

It’s one thing to see the images that inspire us online or in a book, it’s a completely different thing viewing them up close and in person so we’re definitely looking forward to the experience. 🙂


Adam’s Atelier Prepares For Costume College

Iam pleased to announce that three of my class proposals have been accepted for the upcoming 2018 Costume College on July 26-30, 2018. Held annually in late July, Costume College is an event devoted to costuming in its many forms, whether historical, fantasy, or somewhere in between. Classes and presentations consist of both lecture and hands-on workshop formats and are all taught by volunteers. For the past several years, I’ve been giving presentations on various aspects of costume to include American Army uniforms of the WWI Era, Paul Poiret, and Couture of the 19th and early 20th Century.

This year I will be reprising my Paul Poiret presentation (revised and expanded) as well as presentations on designers Charles Frederick Worth and Elsa Schiaparelli. While Worth and Poiret make sense, given our primary areas of emphasis, Elsa Schiaparelli seems a bit of a stretch…well, not so! Here at Lily Absinthe, we are interested in all eras of fashion and we draw inspiration for all eras when it fits the particular design objective we may have in mind and especially when it comes to designers who came after the Belle Epoch.

Image result for dali schiaparelli

Schiaparelli in particular has always been a source of fascination for both Karin and I in that she combined the shocking and outrageous with the practical and down-to-earth ranging from surrealist-inspired shoe-hats and immaculately tailored suits and elegant evening dresses. Moreover, we’re fans of her widespread use of pink- she even has a distinct shade of pink she named “shocking pink.” 🙂

Image result for shocking pink schiaparelli

July is a ways away but I’ll be busily preparing my presentations and it promises to be an exciting time. More to follow! 🙂


Heading Home…

Golden Gate Bridge1

It’s been a long weekend and now it’s time to hit the road. Besides completing our mission, we too the opportunity to see some of the sights at the Presidio and across the bay in the Marin Headlands. Nothing fashion related but we saw some excellent scenery and just get out in some fresh air (a LOT of fresh air- it was very windy and cold). We’ll have more for you soon but in the meantime, enjoy these two pictures… 🙂



Angus, our fashion consultant, enjoying the stiff breeze and sunshine…



Planning For The V&A…


On our upcoming trip to Bath, we’ll be spending a few days in London and heading up the list of places we’ll be visiting is the Victoria & Albert Museum (aka the V&A). The V&A has an incredible fashion collection to include items from the 19th Century and it’s been one of our main go-to websites for online research. Now we’re going to have an opportunity to actually see some of their holdings in person (at least the ones that are not in storage). Here’s one dress that we’re looking forward to viewing in person:

Day Dress Princess Line V&A 1870 - 1880

Day Dress, c. 1870 – 1880; V&A Museum (CIRC.606-1962)

Day Dress Princess Line V&A 1870 - 1880

Rear View

According to the V&A website, the date is circa 1870 – 1880 although we would argue that it’s more like the late 1870s/1880s- the Mid-Bustle Era- the princess line combined with the nearly non-existent train would suggest that. 🙂 The princess line creates a large-scale “canvas” of sorts for displaying dramatic decorative effects, in this case rows of ruched silk. Framing it is a floral silk jacquard in a floral pattern. Also, the hem has two layers of pleated silk to matched the ruching material above.

Of course, as with all on-line research, it’s often hard to completely see the dress details and often there are subtle elements that are overlooked. However, it’s gratifying to know that we’ll be able to view this in person and hopefully the details will make a stronger impression. We’re definitely looking forward to visiting the V&A! 🙂