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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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)
Princess Sapiena (1794)
Lady Hamilton (c. 1790-2)
Anna Pitt as Hebe (1792)
Comtesse Catherine Vassillievna Skavronskaiam
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.
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 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 Morland from the 2007 ITV adaptation of Northanger Abbey