Monday, 3 June 2013

Treasures In The Attic

As I'm taking the June production off, I have time to do all those things in the wardrobe that I never get to do whilst working on a show.

Today's job was to begin sorting what I 'affectionately' call 'The Charity Shop Attic'. It's basically where all the modern stuff gets stored along with the hats and some of the skirt overflow. It always makes me a bit cross because I can never find what I'm looking for. Any order that once existed has gone right out of the window and I never normally have the time to address it.

It looks like this
one can never have enough hats

It's looking a lot tidier since Suzanne has organised the hats. You should have seen it before! But now, all the skirts are nice and tidy too and subdivided into - Historic plain, peasant, Shakespearean, 18th C, Victorian. Modern formal, leather, maxi, mini and shorts, tweedy and wool, floral, hippy etc.... OCD? Me? Never!

...or skirts

It may not look it but this is a MASSIVE improvement.

I found some absolute treasures in my excavations. Just look at these Victorian beauties....

Heavy black satin with crimped black satin frill circa 1895

Close up of the fabric self pattern. Vaguely Art Nouveau in design.
Black satin with full train circa 1902

Close up detail of decoration.  Double row of sequins and beads with  crimped chiffon frill
Black crepe embellished with pin tucks and lace inserts circa  1905

Black satin, overlaid with beaded tulle
Black taffeta with small train and bustle circa  1880

Detail of the crepe and taffeta frills at front

Detail of train

Considering their age and the conditions they have been kept in, they are in remarkably good condition although the fabric is very fragile. I won't be able to use them on stage but they are a valuable resource for research. The level of detail is incredible as is the workmanship (probably workwomanship).

The last skirt was probably worn in deep mourning. It's larger waistline also suggests it was worn by an older woman.
They will all go into storage now, after some restoration, but will be available for viewing and research if any one is interested.

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