Making Dante's Dream come true.

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.