Making Dante's Dream come true.

21 Jul 2013

The voices of a thousand birds that clang above my head...

Ophelia by SomniumDantis
Ophelia, a photo by SomniumDantis on Flickr.

Hello there again! Today I wanted to share with you our version of the so very well known Ophelia by Millais (1852). I needn't have said that, everyone knows. I must say, though, that it was a delight to do it, as well as working with such great artists as Roberto Llull, who shot the thing with me back in March and has been editing it since then; and my dear friend The Seamstress of Rohan who made the gown specially for the occasion. Such wonderful people! As for me, I only did the modelling, the water was cold but not enough to make me sick as poor Lizzie, thank God! Hope you like it.

14 Jul 2013

Yes, I'm alive.

I can't even remember what my last post was about... But I swear I've been extremely busy, for real! You know, with uni and everything and then managing how to get back home from the UK with all the sh... stuff I've been accumulating. Also I've been doing some legit tourism, went to France and invited friends from Sheffield to my place and had a wonderful time overall. Now I'm working at an office full time so I don't even have that much time. Alas! But lets go into the sewing again since this blog it's not dedicated to my personal life...

Ever since I read that Lizzie spent some time in Sheffield I wanted to take some pictures there with the "Lizzie dress". I chose the Botanical gardens for the pictures. There are few of them, I still have some more to upload but they are in my laptop and I need to get a new charger first (you know, all of these period things made me so bad with technology..)

I'm wearing my American Duchess button boots there! Love them!

I also visited Chatsworth House (Pemberley for the Austenites), which is an astounding place in the heart of Derbyshire. I got to wear my new Regency pelisse there and it was another great day (with actual good English weather, so lucky)! These pics are not even uploaded, coming soon!

The dress is old, I only added the pelisse but I really like it.

For now I need to settle down here and put my stuff together but after that I hope I can start sewing again. We have several projects and events to organize for the next months so I'd better start working. Have a good summer!

25 Mar 2013

Lucy Westenra inspired gown.

No, I am not mad. I am not going to attempt to copy an Eiko Ishioka design. Come on, I would never achieve that. And yet I am allowed to get inspired by this beauty:

It's the snake gown worn by Lucy Westenra in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). It's SO gorgeous with those embroidered snakes, also I love that shade.

Well, there's a 1890s event in June and I'm going to adapt this dress into a more historically accurate one. First, I'm not convinced snakes are very suitable for a lady? They work wonders for the metaphor in the film but in real life... I don't think they were very popular. Specially when most designs I've been checking feature butterflies and flowers and all sorts of pretty geometric decorations:

So I'm going to create a similar pattern as the snake one but with a satin leaves trim and some flowers, the fabric is actual silk this time:

Then, moving on to the shape, everything looks fine but the sleeves. For an evening dress short, puffy sleeves would work best. So this is my design and what I've done so far:

I'm quite happy with it! The neckline will be heart shaped and of course, it is not sewn yet, only pinned. Again, sorry for the pics but I left my camera in England (ugh, weight restrictions, I hate them when I'm carrying tones of fabrics with me!). See you soon!

2 Mar 2013

Pre-Raphs in Sheff.

Been exploring what Pre-Raph items could offer the art galleries in Sheffield. The adventure turned out very interesting since I found some unexpected stuff.

The Millennium Art Gallery is currently showing a very impressive exhibition on landscape following Ruskin's taste. It is called Force of Nature: Picturing Ruskin's Landscape. Not all the artists featured are British, nor 19th century, but the whole thing is great. No pictures inside but I specially loved Turner's and Millais' paintings (what a surprise), although some Italian landscapes where quite astonishing too.

As I said, the different works in the collection are not similar, they are connected through Ruskin's ideas of the landscape and the most evident ones are the representation of its grandeur and the perception of its light and colours. Some of the Italian landscapes show as much detail they even seem photographs but then Turner and Millais are masters of colour and of capturing a landscape with a much less precise stroke.

The Moon is Up, and Yet it is not Night, Millais (1890).

There is also a permanent collection called the Ruskin Collection which is quite inspiring. They have great pieces showing Ruskin's love for both nature and architecture.

At least they show the face of the person who collected all these marvellous things...

It is not really worth posting the pics of Medieval prayer books because you can't appreciate the amazing details they have.


Moving on to the Graves Art Gallery, there are great portraits there and lots of 18th and 19th century awesome works. Namely:

Burne-Jones' allegorical painting The Hours (1882)

And this one here which was new for me but with a well-known topic...
The Lady of Shalott by William Maw Egley (1858)

Had lots of fun, I'll be exploring more things these days, hope I discover new treasures!

21 Feb 2013

Renaissance at last!

Hey guys! Our dear photographer Roberto posted his pics last week and The Seamstress of Rohan and I also went to our little special spot in the woods to take some more pics by ourselves before I moved to the UK. I'm leaving you some pics here but you know they're uploaded in my galleries as usual.

Yes, I wanted to be Lucrezia Borgia so bad! Notice the drinking cup...maybe poisoned?

This one is by Iris Wenskowski, Roberto's assistant, who is also learning from him.

Here you can see a bit more in detail the sleeves and everything. I'm very happy with this dress, more than I normally am! So yay, learning how to sew better stuff ^^

In other news, I'm great here in northern England. My flatmates are the loveliest and uni is awesome. I'm very busy with the literature subjects but I think I'll manage. Just ordered some fabrics here to take with me to Mallorca during the Spring break so I can sew a bit there. When I'm back, I'm taking the dresses I couldn't bring (because of the weight restrictions) the first time I came. So yay, everything is fine, but I won't be posting about sewing in a while!

5 Feb 2013

Quick update.

Hi there! I'm still on my finals and I have like zero time to post quality stuff. The Victorian tartan blue dress is finished but I haven't had a moment to take some pics though. Some coming soon, and a bit on the problems I had while making it.

New things: I'm working in a very simple Italian Renaissance dress. It will be all in golden fabric except for the  sleeves that will be also in brocade but dark red. Here it is, the thing is only pinned:

Yeah, sorry for the dreadful pic but it's better than the mobile phone. The sleeves will be very puffed at the shoulders and then more tight in the forearm part. They will be laced with ribbon to show a muslin chemise underneath. I started a golden trim with pearls all along the opened part of the sleeves, done by hand so...just started, it still needs finishing. As you can see it has a front opening that will also be laced with red ribbon as the sleeves. But overall, it will be pretty simple as I must finish it before I move to the UK (it will be my last photo shoot here in Mallorca before I return in summer).

I have wonderful jewellery to go with this that my boyfriend got me, and I'm also working in a beaded hair net. Very excited to finish the dress! I got really inspired thanks to the costumes in The Borgias and I'm uncontrollably excited for the next season premièring in two months. I hope I can get some props easily connected to this family :D

I also have the most beautiful picture from our Victorian Fairytale shoot, but I can't post it since it's part of a contest and it cannot be published! I'll tell you more about that in due time. It's my birthday today too :D and I'm very eager to take things easily and positively to start my new 21 year old life in peace and happiness. Yay, regards!

22 Jan 2013

Parade's End: a Pre-Raphaelite parade.

Oh, it happened again! Sorry, I am really busy with final projects and exams and sewing and moving to the UK I can't even think about writing posts. I've been recently working on an essay on Parade's End (the series, because it's for an English Film subject) and well, I'm sure other people have noticed this before... yet I'd like to publish some of the images I came across while researching. *possible spoilers*

There's Vincent Macmaster (Vinny) on the left, a character who's very present in the first book/first episodes, that's because he is Christopher Tietjen's (the protagonist) best friend and he looks a lot like Gabriel! Maybe I should've chosen a portrait with a more aged Gabriel to compare, but they have similar postures here. Although they're (Chrissy and Vinny) both government statisticians, Vincent is a Pre-Raphaelite fan boy! He's actually writing a biography on Rossetti, that I would've loved to screencap but the quality was so bad we couldn't even read the title so... meh. He's passionate about literature and writes critiques, and when he meets reverend Duchemin, who claims to have met Rossetti himself...guess what happens!

Mrs Duchemin, whose marriage with the revered is a bit estranged (wink), has a very obvious Jane Morris-y Pre-Raphaelite beauty (wink wink), starts an affair with Vincent/Rossetti (triple wink!). I had to screencap this, sorry. The thing is, Christopher is ultra gallant and chaste, so this extramarital relationship highlights the differences between the two friends. Sadly, reverend Duchemin will die and Jane and Rossetti will marry here, welp, at least they've changed that. But guess what? THEY CALL EACH OTHER GUGGUMS!

Oh, I love Sylvia. She's a bad person, but not a bad character. In fact, she's a wonderful character, so complex and yet so primitive. She's a redhead femme fatale, a Fiammetta, and an Astarte Syriaca too. She's Christopher's scandalous wife who will do anything to make him react passionately. I love how she's glorified with that Arts and Crafts-y-haloed-plate.

The wallpaper, William Morris' Fruit (1862) and the engraving at the right top seems something from the Kelmscott Chaucer (1896), I am sorry I couldn't identify the exact page. The one below is Henry Holiday's Dante and Beatrice (1884). I find it so great that they took into account that Ford Madox Ford (the novelist) was Ford Madox Brown's grandson and included all these details. I'm sure there are more but for now I'm leaving you with these. Also, it's a great series, you should all go watch it, an excellent literary adaptation written by Sir Tom Stoppard, ladies and gentlemen!

1 Jan 2013

Happy New Year!

So this is my first post of 2013 and I just want to wish you the best to you all and tell you I've started with hard work and very willing to complete projects. I've just put together my 1860s tartan gown: 

Sorry again for the bad quality but my camera is being repaired at the moment (yay, at last!) and I hope I get it in a few days. This gown's bodice is going to have a more opened neckline, as I mentioned in previous posts, and it's going to show a chemise. I'm also making a black wool pellerine/small cloak (pics to come).

I hope I'm posting a bit more about my progress these days since I'm still on holidays from uni :) Have a great year!