Graduation x 2

In January I graduated with an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies. The robes we wore were designed by Vivienne Westwood (the only time I’ll ever be wearing anything that fancy) and I wore mine with such dignity.

Then it rained, we had dinner, toasted in champagne and I got flowers. The end.

Graduation 2012
This is what it looked like one year and a six months earlier, at my first graduation. A decidedly more fun ceremony because of the location, the mortarboards and the presence of Johanne.


Twenty three

I turned twenty three last November and for the first time in four years I celebrated my birthday with family in Oslo. There has always been quite a few of us and with the addition of some recent babies we are now seventeen in total, which makes for noisy and chaotic birthday celebrations, despite what these photos might suggest!

My aunt choose the lovely flowers (according to family tradition we collectively give each other a bouquet of flowers on birthdays) and I put them my mother’s Greek, “neoclassical” vase as it is a favourite of mine.

I wore an antique cameo necklace I bought at an auction years ago, and apparently also looked confused while unwrapping gifts.

After the guests had left the bunny ventured out of her cage, but only to fall asleep on the sofa.

Lastly, what it looked like through instagram.

Lucka nr 1: berätta om din stil (write about your style)

As she have done for the last few years, Emily Dahl is hosting an advent calendar on her blog, this time fashion related, asking her readers to participate. Behind the first “window” one finds this challenge: berätta om din stil (write about your style.)

Now, I am going to be terribly boring and answer that I don’t really consider myself to be dressing according to a certain style, or even several styles combined. Mainly I am inspired by historical fashion, costume dramas and my favourite novels, and I have a tendency to covet certain items of clothing or jewellery for periods of time (at the moment it is byronian turbans.) I am not sufficiently interested in clothes (in relation to myself that is, not in a historical context) to have developed a distinctive style, but I do have a few favourite items of clothing. Among these are:

17de Maibunad
My bunad (Norwegian national/folk costume), mostly worn on the 17th of May and for formal events such as weddings. Mine is a modern interpretation of a traditional costume, by Eva Lie.

The Admiral's House, BathBogstad 1811
My Regency clothes, which I wear for Napoleonic re-enactments. The blue gown is made by Marion May and the yellow is the work of Margarita Martinez. This particular gown is actually available to rent, as I did, before I commissioned my very own, in light blue. Unfortunately I never seem to get a proper photo of it, as I am usually the one running around photographing at events!

My made-to-measure Dig for Victory dress, inspired by 1950s-60s cocktail dresses.

Lastly, and this is close as I get to a “signature style”; I love sticking foliage in my hair and my Renaissance hat is my most treasured item of clothing.

1790s hairstyle inspiration

Georgian Picnic in St James's ParkGeorgian Picnic in St James's Park
I have several blog posts I want to write up and publish, but as I am confined to bed with a fever after contracting a cold on a rainy weekend trip to Brussels, here are the paintings (all by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun) I used as inspiration for the 1790-ish hairstyle I did for the Dress Like a Georgian Day-picnic.

Varvara Ivanovna Ladomirsky (1800)
Varvara Ivanovna Ladomirsky (1800)

Princess Sapiena (1794)
Princess Sapiena (1794)

Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Lady Hamilton
Lady Hamilton (c. 1790-2)

Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Anna Pitt as Hebe (1792)
Anna Pitt as Hebe (1792)

Comtesse Catherine Vassillievna Skavronskaia
Comtesse Catherine Vassillievna Skavronskaiam

Madame Vigée-Lebrun and her daughter Jeanne Lucie Louise (1789)
Madame Vigée-Lebrun and her daughter Jeanne Lucie Louise (1789)


Lastly, as a bonus, this is what may hair looked like after brushing it out (I slept on damp rag-curls overnight) but before styling it. A bit more like a crazy clown than a 19th century socialite, really.

Neoclassical hairstyle inspiration

PeacockHolland Park

Today I thought I’d post the inspiration behind my neoclassical hairstyle, which was mostly 19th century Pre-Raphaelite and turn of the century Aesthetic art. These are my favourites and you can view all of them on my pinterest.

The Laurel Wreath by Frederick Sandys (1902)

A Portrait of Lady DonaldsonA Portrait of Lady Donaldson by Frederick Sandys (1877)

A Golden Day Dream by Emily Mary Osborn

Chloris, A summer Rose by John William Godward (before 1902)

Love’s Shadow by Frederick Sandys (c.1867)

Peacock Profile by Edgar Maxence (1896)

Megilla by John William Godward (1921)

Princess Maria Kochubey by François Gérard (1809)

catherine morlandCatherine Morland from the 2007 ITV adaptation of Northanger Abbey

Out of the ash I rise with my red hair

If I had to pick a favourite historical movement it would be Neoclassicism. I just love the clean lines, the influence of antiquity, particularly on dress and interiors, but also the philosophical and political obsession with ancient Greece and Rome. As I start the last semester of my degree I grow increasingly restless and easily distractable, and during the last few days I have thrown everything academic out of the window and instead visited museums and galleries to my heart’s content, and also played around with hairstyles. These photos are of a hairstyle I did inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite/fin de siècle interpretation of neoclassical hair.
Peacock  Peacock