Making Dante's Dream come true.

19 Dec 2011

Cup with a William Morris' design.

I just wanted to share with you that the VA Museum is featuring some of their designs in cups. I (obviously) bought this one with a William Morris' design, which is pretty cool as you can see. It has a little flower on the inside part, too. They had other Indian designs and very awesome stuff. Btw, that's my Desperate Romantics book and my Good-night-Jane-Morris picture one my bedside table.

I don't know why the cup doesn't appear on the VA Museum page, but there is some other cool stuff with Morris' designs, in case you want to check.

14 Dec 2011

Pre-Raphaelite paintings in movies.

It's been nearly a month since I've posted but I'm very busy with uni etc. I don't want to bore you with that stuff. BUT, I've come across a movie today (thanks to uni classes by the way) that shocked me in a good way. I know there's been several other people posting on PR paintings in movies and on the influence of their aesthetics in movies' dresses but I never read anything on this movie before (maybe didn't serach properly).

Ok, it's a film based on a novel, Possession by Antonia Byatt, which we've been studying in Literature so far. Broadly, a post-modern novel about two researchers that eventually meet to investigate about a possible affair between other fictional (in the novel) characters, who were poets. The figures of this poets, Christabel LaMotte possibly lesbian or bisexual, and Randolph Henry Ash a faithful and respected poet, are actually loosely based on... Christina Rossetti and Robert Browning! That's just a tiny summary, if you want to read or watch, I leave it up to you, but I hardly recommend.

Then, there's that 'possible' Pre-raphaelite background... now... see how it's developed on screen:

Please excuse the poor quality and that clumsy arrows...Hm, I only know how to use paint... haha
That's Rossetti's 'Monna Vanna'.

 Rossetti's 'Helen of Troy'.

 Lizzie Siddal by Rossetti.

 Sandy's 'Mary Magdalene'.

And here, on the right, Waterhouse's 'Mermaid' and on the left Rossetti's 'Pia Tolomei'.

Well, those are just the few I could spot out. And... noticed how Pre-raphaelite looks that Christabel? In fact, she wears that hair slide or barrette Rossetti featured in lots of paintings, I mean this one: 

Yep, not really noticeable, me, it's the one.

The dresses she wears are...awesome! Maybe they'll inspire me for the artistic dress I'm working on :) Best!

18 Nov 2011

Keeping on with my research.

My boyfriend is awesome, he gave this to me as a surprise gift!

Yaaaay! This book is veeeery interesting; it has chapters on the main reasons for dress reform (as you can read: Politics, Health and Art). Of course there's a part entitled 'Artistic Dress in Britain' and this is the part I will focus on to continue my Lizzie dress. And look who's there!

Those beautiful Lizzie and Janey! Luckily I'll have one of those dresses in a few months ^^ I think I'll also buy Janet Arnold's 'Patterns of Fashion' (all the volumes haha) which are pretty much a Bible to historical costume reenactors. Will see...I'll keep writing! Regards.

P.S. I already shot my pics with the green velvet dress, in case someone is interested in them, they're on DeviantArt and Flickr.

11 Nov 2011

Lizzie Siddal, Artistic Dress, research and doubts.

One of the projects I bear in mind is making a dress Lizzie Siddal could have worn. I want the dress to be extremely historically acurate and shoot some versions of those 'drawers full of Guggums'. I've been doing some research lately and I've come across a big problem. If someone with more knowledge than me in this topic (which isn't very difficult) wants to help, just leave a comment or whatever.

Ok, so, I've read Lucinda Hawksley's Lizzie's biography, and the writer (and many other sources) state that she rarely wore a corset and had a particular dressing style. She probably didn't wear a crinoline either, as in drawings where she's lying or sitting painting, the skirt isn't so voluminous as with a crinoline underneath. I deduced she rejected 1850's Victorian puffed style + tight corset, so she opted for a more natural dress with a real woman's silhouette. That's fine.

The problem starts when I read she had a different and particular dressing style (apart from not wearing corset nor crinoline). Some sources suggest she slightly started the Artistic Dress Movement, which is historically probable, as Rossetti had an obsession with uncommon fabrics and dresses (he did extensive research to paint and checked medieval resources to reproduce that time's style). So, with Lizzie's style, plus her skill in sewing, her work possing for Pre-Raphaelites and Rossetti's influence, it could have happened that she had some gowns substantially different from conventional fashion in the 1850's. But, and here's my main worry, when I check Rossetti's Guggums: I cannot see any of this. I rely mostly in Rossetti's sketches because they show Lizzie in a familiar context, doing daily activities and with the clothes she probably wore everyday. In paintings, of course, she's depicted in more dressing styles, but that was just because of the painting, so I'll leave paitings apart.

This is Lizzie, apparently without crinoline nor corset, but, what about her style? Does anyone see Ranaissance sleeves or any other thing related to Artistic Dress? Isn't this dress very similiar, for example, to this other one?

And what about these other two?

A part from the volume, I can't see any huge diffirence between them.

Artistic Dress is supposed  to be like this:

It's looser and baggier, more natural, with natural colours and textures, reminiscent of Medieval and Renaissance times, more comfortable for women etc. That painting is dated the same year Lizzie died. So, should I believe she initiated the movement altogether with Rossetti, and, by the time she was dead, this fashion started to develop and  became more popular? Why I cannot see any Artistic Dress item in her pictures although sources say she had a different dressing style? That totally determines the way I'll start with the dress. Of course I'll choose a natural coloured fabric, but, I don't really know how to start my patterns.

This is really bothering me :( I'll look up some books to clarify this question if I cannot solve it through internet.

7 Nov 2011

November rain.

I'm so happy I have some followers! Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy reading the few things I post. I also can check in my stats that there's some people that visit this frequently, so please, if you have a blog, follow, and I'll be happy to follow you too.

I've had lots of University work lately and lots of unfinished projects: props, fabrics, costumes etc. I have a Catwoman costume I wanted to wear in Halloween but I was ill, so maybe I'll do a session soon. But that's not important now.

My improvements on the green-velvet-elvish-medieval-preraphaelite dress!

It's not finished obviously, but almost! Probably I'll finish it tomorrow. It's a dress style very recurrent in Pre-Raphaelite paintings as in Millais' 'Mariana':

And I've been working in another fantasy-style prop too, these are my Autumn Fairy Wings:

Yeah, I know it's an ugly picture but there's no more room in my house to store props, I have tones of boxes and those wings are fragile, I have to store them very carefully. What do you think? Good idea? I will make a dress for this! I'll be uploading pics soon! Thanks for reading, leave a comment if you wish.

20 Oct 2011

Happy news!

Yaaaaay! I'm soooo happy. Well, now I'm working in a medieval-elvish green-velvet dress, but a part from that it has been some time since I wanted to do a real Lizzie Siddal 'cosplay'. And I want it to be historically acurate. Now I have in my hands the Lucinda Hawksley biography and the Desperate Romantics book. I know there won't be very much info about the Artistic Dress movement, but I have seen some clues just in the first chapters of Lizzie's biography.

I will have to do some research to make this dress, but it's quite fun. I'm lucky she probably didn't wear a crinoline (I'm not really sure but I can deduce that from Rossetti's portraits of her and taking into account the movement's tastes) because it's a difficult part of that kind of dresses. What it's sure it's that it will have baggy Garibaldi sleeves or so. I can see that style in Lizzie's depictions. I will just leave here an example of the exact dress I want:

Beautiful, isn't it? I will write about my medieval-elvish dress soon, and then I will start with this project. Regards!

13 Oct 2011

How I turned into a siren.

This post it's just to explain briefly how I made my mermaid tail and how I managed to make it good for swiming.

First thing: get the fabric. In my case I chose a velvety-like sequined turquoise fabric . Make sure you buy the right amount of fabric to cover your legs from hips to toes (and like 40 cm. more to make the fin). It's important that the fabric is elastic, if not, it will be very difficult for you to get into the tail or to move in it, because it's supposed to be very tight.

Then you just draw a pattern with your leg's silhouette and add the thin's shape (I used a scuba fins, If you want to swim with the tail better get ones too). The idea is to buy a mono-fin, you know, like the normal ones but just as if they were sticked...just as a mermaid. The thing with them is that they're a little bit, I bought the normal ones and joined them with tape hahaha.
When you have the silhouette drawn just mark it in the fabric, cut it (always add some cm. for the seams), and sew it with the fins in it. That's supposed to work pretty easy. Then you can put it on and look for if it needs some alterations.

Other advices: add an elastic ribbon in your hips if you want the tail not to fall. AND, make sure there's some cm. more than your actual pattern in paper shows because if not, you won't get in the tail. I marked the shape to tight and I had to add lots of parts (at least it looked cool, but it was a lot of extra work).

Optional: make a 'rear' fin with more silky-like fabric, just to adorn (it looked cool in the water!).

Aaaaand, that's the result!

Yeah, that's my living room xD That was for you to seet it better.

And here you can see the rear fin I added.

I hope this was useful to you ^^

9 Oct 2011

Reenacting Alma-Tadema and Godward.

Hi! So here's my first post about reenacting. Well, my very first time shoting Pre-Raphaelite paintings was that J. W. Waterhouse's mermaid (I will talk about that in other posts, I believe) but this weekend I went to an awesome manor and shoot my pics. There was an extremely beautiful garden with lots of ponds and fountains. It had lots of greek ornaments too, a very classical place. So it was the perfect place to shot Alma-Tadema and Godward inspired paintings. If you want to check by which pictures I was inspired just click this links:

The first thing I did was copying the tunic from a painting. Here it is the one I chose (a Godward painting):

And this is my version:

I hope you like it (there are some more pics in my Flickr gallery and in my DeviantArt gallery). Then I tried to copy the way they used that ribbons to keep the tunics in place, I think it was a kind of bra. And finally, I took my sandals and placed some more ribbons in my head and went for it. I tried to contact the people in charge that manor to ask them if I could shot there in a tunic, but no one answered my e-mail and the girl in the phone service didn't know what to tell me. So I went there in normal clothes and then changed in a hidden part of the garden. No one reprimanded me as there wasn't anyone looking after the place. I'm very happy I had good luck because I worked in that tunic and I was very excited to shot this pictures.

That's all folks! (for today). Maybe I'll do a tutorial one of these days to come on how to place the bra-ribbons and how to do a simple tunic. Thanks for reading! ^^

7 Oct 2011

A little clip.

Hi again! Lets start filling this empty blog. I will just leave a little clip I made by joining some Desperate Romantics scenes and adding a beautiful soundtrack. Hope you like it!

I particularly love that they added the 'Dead Love' poem reading in the series. If you want to read it, I will post here the full version :

Dead Love

Oh never weep for love that’s dead
Since love is seldom true
But changes his fashion from blue to red,
From brightest red to blue,
And love was born to an early death
And is so seldom true.

Then harbour no smile on your bonny face
To win the deepest sigh.
The fairest words on truest lips
Pass on and surely die,
And you will stand alone, my dear,
When wintry winds draw nigh.

Sweet, never weep for what cannot be,
For this God has not given.
If the merest dream of love were true
Then, sweet, we should be in heaven,
And this is only earth, my dear,
Where true love is not given.

Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal.

La Vita Nuova (The New Life).

I've been thinking about creating a blog for a long time.
PROS: share my interests, let people interested in similar things enjoy reading what I post and helping others with stuff maybe I know.
CONS: having no time to post as I wished, or having no idea of what to post at all.
Conclusion: I'm starting the blog and...come what may, I'll do my best!

So, hi, this is me. My nickname is Lizzie Siddal, I'm afraid you know why. There's something I've always wanted to do, there's a tiny bit of my heart that desires to create beauty. Taking into account that I have no job and that I'm a student I will have a try at reenacting Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Well, to sum up, the basic things I will talk about here will be:
-Pre-Raphaelite art.
-Other DIY things that will help me with the props.

This is it. I come up with an idea. I think about where I will be shoting it. I sew the dresses (with my mum's help) or look for the clothes to wear. I do my props, etc. Just because I love it. If you love this too, you are more than invited to read my chronicles. Thank you for the attention!

P.S. Well of course there will be more things, I suppose. I also like fantasy and historical costume reenactment. I think I will reenact stuff from movies or books...who knows? This is a very broad project!