Introducing The Camille

Since its introduction, our Camille dress design has been a major hit with our clients and has become one of the mainstays of our day dress line-up. The Camille is based on the Mid-Bustle Era styles that the Impressionist models would wear, primarily characterized by a fitted, narrow tied-back skirt that is swagged, pleated, and ruffled with fullness from the knees down. This style was also made popular by the famous actresses of the time such as Lilly Langtry and Sarah Bernhardt. What also makes this skirt more distinct is the custom bayleuse which is installed in each of our dresses which serve to create the distinct silhouette that characterized the late 1870s/early 1880s.

Camille Dress Elena

The Camille is a solid design that is suitable for a variety of occasions, both indoor and outdoor, and is available in a nearly endless combination of colors and fabrics. Below is one example that we recently made for a client:

Camille Dress Elena
With this dress, we’ve employed a blue color palette with a solid light blue foundation for the basic skirt and bodice sleeves and  combined it with dark blue cuffs and lapels on bodice. Then, just to make things interesting, we also employed a blue plaid fabric for the bodice body and swaged overskirt with pops of yellow. Finally, to complete the effect, we used a shirred white net to cover the upper underskirt.

Here is a three-quarter view of the rear of the dress. The underskirt is covered with shirred white net from the top to mid way down, and then with three rows of pleating from mid way down to the hem.

Camille Dress Elena
Below is a closer look at the hem- three rows of pleating…
Camille Dress Elena
Here are some more views of the dress details:

Camille Dress ElenaCamille Dress Elena

Now let’s take a look at some bodice details:

Camille Dress Elena

The bodice incorporates features reminiscent of 18th Century styles to include an inset of shirred white net framed by dark blue lapels or revers, creating a faux waistcoat appearance. The sleeves are three-quarter length ending in cuffs that match the lapels trimmed with three buttons. To finish it off, each sleeve has inset lace with silk ribbon trim.

Below is a close-up of the sleeve and cuff (before the lace was added). This is a good illustration of the color palette:

Camille Dress Elena

Overall, the effect is an interesting mix of plaid and solid-colored fabrics with a palette that harmonizes. The shirred front overskirt, knife pleats, and folds create an uneven texture that contrasts with the smoothness of the bodice and sleeves. The design was definitely a hit with our client and we look forward to creating more dresses in this style.

Helldorado Days 2017

It’s October and that means Helldorado Days in Tombstone! This year, Helldorado is scheduled on October 20 through October 22, 2017 and the high point of the event is the parade to he held on Sunday October 22. First started in 1928 to publicize the town, Helldorado is held on the third Sunday of October and commemorates the town’s early years and especially that 30-second gunfight that took place somewhere close by to the OK Corral. We’ll be meeting with clients and otherwise working on some projects and having a little fun. 🙂

See you there!

Coming Back To LA…

It’s been a long day flying back to LA from Virginia (actually Washington/Dulles)- The flight for Denver was scheduled for 5 am which meant that I had to be at the airport sometime between 3 and 4 am (which in turn meant that I had to actually wake up around 2 am). Dulles Airport is huge, now imagine it with almost zero people. Weird. After enduring the usual TSA protocols and waiting, I was finally aboard and headed west to Denver. Since the plane was mercifully empty, I was actually able to get comfortable and catch up on some sleep during the 3 1/2 hour flight.

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Denver was COLD and rainy- fortunately, I didn’t have to go outside but I could feel the cold plenty as I exited the plane. It’s been awhile, to say the least- I’ve been dealing with temperatures in the 90s and 100s for so long that I forgot what anything else is like. 🙂

Heading southwest out of the Denver towards Burbank, the weather improved a bit and the sun came out…

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And then for a short hop over the Rockies…

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And finally landing at Hollywood-Burbank (aka Bob Hope) Airport where I’d started from some four days before…

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And what was the fashion of the day, you might ask? Jeans, T-shirt, and overshirt. Yeah, nothing fancy and meant solely for practicality. Unfortunately, the nature of modern day air travel doesn’t really allow for anything else…certainly not this…

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And as for meals, it’s not this…

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But this… 🙂

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But we make things work as elegantly as possible and that’s our motto here at Lily Absinthe! 🙂

 

 

Off To Virginia…

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Lately it seems that my weekends have been a blur of activity and this coming weekend is no exception. Today, I’m catching a plane for Dulles/Washington DC to participate in a WWII Era event at the Americans in Wartime Museum (aka “The Tank Farm”) in Nokesville, Virginia. I’ll be falling in with a living history group portraying the 26th US Cavalry, Philippine Scouts who will be portraying late 1941/early 1942. Previously, I’d worked with a number of the group’s members at a previous living history event in Columbus, New Mexico in March 2016 and had a good time with them, so I thought that I’d return them the favor. I’ll be on my own for this one and from a fashion perspective, the order of the day is the US summer uniform for officers. 🙂

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It won’t the typical sort of WWII event in that we’ll be portraying some of the last days of mounted cavalry. I’ve already shipped the bulk of my equipment so there’s not a whole lot of baggage to deal with so that’s a plus. Unfortunately, there’s no direct flight (change planes in Denver) so it’s going to be a long day travelling. Fortunately, I’ll have some time to recover before actually starting the event itself Friday afternoon.

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The Old And The New…

This sort of an event is a bit out of my normal zone when it comes to living history but I’m open to doing something different (2017 has been a year of changes and new things, to be sure). However, the idea of getting back on a horse and doing cavalry is just too powerful so there it is. 🙂 I’ll post some pictures when I have more so stay tuned!

1880s Street Style At The Beach…

As summer begins to wind down, I thought I’d post some pictures of people at the seashore- you could call it “street style at the beach, 1880s style.”

Beach

The Montgomery family, all dressed up and preparing to pose by the shoreline of beach at Stokemus, near Sea Bright, August 8, 1886

The above picture is interesting in that here you see a variety of common styles to include vest/faux, open bodice with faux waist, and closed bodice.. For skirts, all follow the bustle silhouette of the later 1880s but not in an extreme manner and each features some variation on the over/under-skirt configuration. The skirt on the woman in the middle with the parasol is the same color (seemingly from the picture) for both skirts and the under-skirt appears to the be ruffled in rows. The woman standing to the immediate rear of the little girl has a contrasting solid color over-skirt with a plaid check underskirt while the woman at the far right has a skirt and bodice made of the same material with no obvious under-skirt. It’s a very useful portrait for determining some common daytime styles that can be readily utilized for recreation purposes.

Coney Island 1885

Collecting Shells, Manhattan Beach, Coney Island, 1885 (New York Historical Society & Museum)

These two women are not deterred by the wet sand or water and have simply taken the expedient of hiking up their skirts. They’re a bit more plainly dressed than the group in the first picture with bodice and skirt of the same color. The woman on the left also appears to be wearing a short coat or jacket that has been designed to fit around the bustled skirt.

And just for contrast, something a bit more upmarket, staged in the photographer’s studio…

Portrait_Seaside c. 1885

The above picture portrays a more elaborate style although it still keeps to the convention of the bustled over/under-skirt combination typical of the later 1880s. In this instance, the bodice appears to drape over the hips and is gathered towards the rear and has a floral print design. Of course, with the woman’s elbow obscuring the waist, it’s hard to tell exactly but judging from the swags of net trimmed in fabric running along the skirt, it appears that the net is the over-skirt with a solid-colored fabric under-skirt. The effect is airy and very appropriate for summer by the beach.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse of 1880s street style. 🙂