Now That’s A Wrap!

Living in Southern California and the Southwest in general, it’s easy to get spoiled with all the great weather- warm, sunny, and few or no clouds. Rain is relatively infrequent so it’s usually something we just don’t think about. Well, it hit us that England is quite the opposite and especially when it comes to rain so we had to do a slight re-think about our wardrobe for the Victorian Ball in Bath and that means a cape. 🙂

Karin Atelier Cloak Mantle

What to do? Obviously an evening cloak of some sort but since we’ve never really needed one in the past, it’s not something that I’ve given much thought to so it was time to a little research into evening cloaks…so here’s some of the many examples I found:

Cloak Pingat c. 1888 - 1890

Emile Pingat, Evening Cloak, c. 1888 – 1890; Metropolitan Museum of Art

This opera cloak made by Pingat in circa 1882 especially caught my eye- the combination of fur and feathers combined with the floral design decoration ivory silk satin is simply stunning.

Pingat Opera Cloak c. 1882

Emile Pingat, Opera Cloak, c. 1882; Metropolitan Museum of Art (C.I.60.42.13)

Pingat Opera Cloak c. 1882

Side Profile

Pingat Opera Cloak c. 1882

Three-Quarter Rear View

And here’s the cloak worn over a dress:

Emile Pingat Opera Cloak c. 1882

Cloak Pingat c. 1879 - 1880

Emile Pingat, Cloak, c. 1879 – 1880; Metropolitan Museum of Art (C.I.60.6.7)

Cloak Pingat c. 1879 - 1880

Three-Quarter Rear View

Cloak Mantle Pingat c. 1891

Emile Pingat, Mantle, c. 1891; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (M.2007.211.38)

Interestingly enough, In my search, it seemed that the most striking examples were those may by Emile Pingat and after some thought, we decided that a full-length cloak would be the most effective and practical design, especially given that my ball gown is a Mid-Bustle Era design so after going through my collection of original patterns, I came up with one from the early 1890s that I could modify:

Karin Cloak

Angus,  our creative consultant checks out the faux fur, trying to determine what animal it came from…

Karin Cloak

Curved gores follow the shape of the underlying ball gown.

Karin Mantle Cloak

Here’s a good view of the corded floral design.

We’ve used a pale blue silk satin and lined it in ivory silk moire. The cloak is also trimmed in a faux fur (primarily to avoid issues with potential vermin infestation). The cloak is still under construction but we’ll be finished soon and when we are we’ll post some more views here. 🙂

Selections From The FIDM Museum 2

T

oday we feature another gown from the FIDM Museum permanent collection, this time a dinner gown that was made by Doucet circa 1899 – 1900:

Dinner Gown Doucet c. 1899-1900

Jacques Doucet, Dinner Gown, c. 1899-1900; FIDM Museum

Dinner Gown Doucet c. 1899-1900

Unfortunately, I was unable to get any good full-length pictures of this gown and there was only one angle available however, I got some good detail of the capelet top which is the center of focus. As with many of Doucet’s designs, the capelet utilizes gold netting combined with gold metallic trim that simply reads “rich”. The rest of the gown is black with vertical stripes of black jet beading and serves as a backdrop of sorts to the gold capelet. This is definitely one of those “high 90s” styles that’s rich and a bit over the top.

This is an interesting example of Doucet’s work and I’ll be seeing about getting some more pictures to augment what I got. It’s definitely worth taking a look at in person.

Selections From The FIDM Museum

W

hile the the 26th Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition at the FIDM Museum was a bit of a disappointment, there were some items in the Museum’s permanent collection that made up for it immensely. One such item was an evening gown designed by Gustave Beer circa 1912 – 1913:

Evening Gown Gustave Beer c. 1912-1913

Gustave Beer, Evening Gown, c. 1912 -1913; FIDM Museum

The gown is constructed from a gold silk charmeuse combined with a jeweled applique floral pattern. The silhouette is the loose Classic Grecian inspired nouveau directoire style with empire waist. In contrast to the tightly sculpted structural styles of the 1890s and early 1900s styles, this dress was draped, relying only on the garment itself to create its lines. While corsets are still utilized for foundation wear in 1912-13, it was now submerged, masked by the flowing lines of the dress. Here are some more views:

Evening Gown Gustave Beer c. 1912-1913

Three-Quarter Front Profile

Evening Gown Gustave Beer c. 1912-1913

Close-Up Three-Quarter Front Profile

Here we get a better look at the decoration and trim. Jeweled netting sweeps over the dress from the waist down, serving to emphasize the decorative pattern on the dress front.

Evening Gown Gustave Beer c. 1912-1913

Side Profile

This somewhat blurred picture (unfortunately, other visitors kept getting in the way) give a side view of the dress, emphasizing the slender, cylindrical silhouette of the dress while at the same time showing off the train.

Evening Gown Gustave Beer c. 1912-1913

The Train

The train itself is magnificent and it’s a piece of art in itself, serving as a canvas for an elaborate jeweled/embroidered floral pattern. The outside border is especially striking and very reminiscent of classical design motifs. This dress was a definite bright spot in our day! 🙂

 

The 1870s Or 1970s?

Sometimes a random encounter can spark an idea and today’s post is no exception. In the course of looking for some pictures for another project, I came across a series of pictures of a circa 1874 day dress made by Charles Worth. While the design was fairly standard, it was colors that jumped out at me- they just screamed “1970s.” At the same time, we know that colors are a universal thing with various colors being emphasized during different eras.

Color has always played a role in defining the fashions of an era, whether it be the 19th Century or today and it’s one of the first things we notice. For some eras, color can exert a very powerful influence and one such era was the 1970s. When most people think about 1970s fashions, the reaction is almost invariably: “What were we thinking?” 🙂

As a generalization, the 1970s were characterized by many unfortunate fabric and style choices (as one of my fashion design textbooks described it) dominated by an earth tone color palette led, of course, by avocado and harvest gold:

1970s Color Palette Pantone

And here’s that color palette in action:

Image result for 1970s fashions

Yes, Paul Poiret would probably not approve… 🙂

So, one would think that the above color palette was unique to the 1970s but in reality, the color palette has been around since the concept of fashion was first developed. In terms of the 1870s, the same “1970s color palette” was present as seen in this circa 1874 day dress attributed to Worth:

Worth Day Dress c. 1874

Worth, Day Dress, c. 1874; Rhode Island Institute of Design Museum ( 2005.89.12)

Worth Day Dress c. 1874

Worth Day Dress c. 1874

The silhouette and style of this dress definitely reads early 1870s and is fairly standard. However, what caught our eye was the color palette which just screamed “1970s” and to be honest, it’s not our favorite color combination but there it is… 🙂

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! 🙂