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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wittering on about the 1910s, 20s and 30s, must have pith helmet, on safari

I have been well and truly bitten by the teens, 20s and 30s bug.  Not just cloches, hairstyles and flapper fashions but the whole history of the era.
I watched a TV program recently on 'The History of Safari' with Richard E Grant which was fascinating. (Not killing animals, I'd rather photograph them!) This naturally ties in to the period as does my love of 20s and 30s travel related memorabilia. 
The heyday of world travel, if you were rich, was that period between the two world wars.  And I love the clothes and paraphenalia that go with it!
This however presents a problem costume-wise.  I am not a suitable shape for 20s fashions.  I am more a 50s shape.  So I tend to wear 20s hats with modern clothes so at least I can enjoy that aspect. 
Recently I wore my black horse hair and lace cloche with a long straight modern black skirt and a tight fitting pullover, over which I wore a short tunic dress with a balloon bottom. I completed the look with my American Duchess Pompadour shoes.
I ended up with a rather Paul Poiret look. 
And it worked. 
But back to 'The History of Safari', which reminded me of the series 'The Flame Trees of Thika' which starred Hayley Mills and Holly Aird and was set in the years just before WWI in Kenya.
I would rather like an outfit like the one Hayley wore in the series when they went on safari. (I could wear it in winter.)
Anyway this, not unnaturally, led to a desire for a pith helmet. I bought said pith helmet but it got badly crunched in the mail on the way from India.  Very sad looking when it arrived.
I am however trying to reconstruct the cork interior so I can get some use out of it. All 50 something pieces of it. I like a good jigsaw!
Perhaps with a veil over it like this lady on the camel. That should disguise the worst of the creases which I don't think will disappear. I don't mind her outfit either!
Hayley's outfit is a bit like the one Meryl Streep wore in 'Out of Africa'. 
I'm still working on my pink one, still going in and out all the picots on the grosgrain ribbon around the brim. 
As always too many projects, not enough time. 
So do you wear a mixture of vintage and modern pieces? 
What sort of items?

Give your pouf more oomph!

Have you struggled with 18th century hairstyling? Have your poufs sunk like a bad souffle? 
Yeah well, you and me and just about everyone else!  Finally someone had finally done us all a favour!
If you haven't heard about Kendra Van Cleave's forthcoming book on 18th century hair and wig styling, you must have been hiding under a sofa. So if you've been down there with the dust bunnies, you can get all the information including special offers now at the link from this photo, at or on her site at
Kendra is known for her research and knowledge of the topic around the world and you can help her get her book out by pre-ordering and save yourself some dollars. Since publishing is a costly business she is doing it through Indiegogo which like Kickstarter is a crowdfunding program. 
Many of the other 18th century blogs have information and Lauren at American Duchess has even test run some of the instructions so go check it out now.

No I'm not on commission, I just think anything that makes our joint obsession with the 18th century easier and spreads the knowledge we all aspire to, is worth sharing.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Long time no post, Happy New Year and a bit of bling!

Well I hope the new year is being kind to you all and if it's not I hope you find your way through whatever is going on. 
Mine has been mixed but I'm grateful for all the good stuff.
I'm plumb out of inspiration for anything creative at the moment.  Well not completely but all my ideas revolve around Christmas stuff which is just a tad out of step with the calendar.
So instead I have been looking at stuff I splurged on a little while ago.
Like this:

So where will I wear it?   No idea, but I had to have it for some unfathomable girlish reason.  Didn't think there was a princess hiding inside but I might have been mistaken. Actually I'd rather have a Grand Duchess or an Arch Duchess to be honest, they always sounded so much more interesting.
Anyway this, I discovered after I received it, is based on Sarah Ferguson's wedding tiara so there's the duchess connection!
Fits nicely and I will look fabulous doing the mopping in it.