A Floral Headband For Annabelle (Returning Heroes Ball 2014)

Not too long ago, I was again able to be part of the annual Returning Heroes Ball hosted by The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. I decided to wear Annabelle again this year, even though I’d worn her last year, because I’d just worn Evie and Belle at the 1860s Dance Weekend in November.

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Annabelle at Returning Heroes Ball 2014.

Each time I’ve worn Annabelle, I’ve been slightly disappointed with the various incarnations of flower hair wreaths I’ve attempted to match her: the first wreath and the giant mass of flowers. So this year I decided to try again to see if I could get something I like. There are quite a number of evening dresses decorated with flowers right about 1860 and many of them are depicted in fashion plates and portraits with matching flowers in the hair. Here are some examples: 1859 fashion plate, another 1859 fashion plate, a third 1859 fashion plate, 1861 fashion plate, 1861 portrait, 1862 fashion plate, and 1863 fashion plate. For this new incarnation, I decided to try a different style from what I have for my other two evening dresses (Belle has a crescent and Evie has a hair wreath).  The style I settled on I’m calling a headband. It creates a halo around the face and extends down towards the ears, but does not connect across the back of the head. Instead, the hair must be interestingly arranged to fill in the back of the head. Here’s an example of the headband style using flowers that match the dress from 1862. And here is the fashion plate that Annabelle is based on which shows a headband style hair wreath worn with the dress.

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Here is Annabelle’s new floral headband. 

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Back view of my hair style. I needed something dramatic to fill in the base of my head. I wanted to do a sideways oval surrounded by rolls, but that didn’t work out and this is what I ended up with. I was dubious at first, but I think it worked. (It’s hard to see, but there’s one big central roll/puff and one smaller one above and below that.)

In addition to my new headband, I was also able to wear my new ca. 1860 corset and my still rather new purple paste jewels (a matching collet necklace and drop earrings) from Dames a la Mode. They worked wonderfully with my outfit (of course, I did pick the purple knowing it would match multiple outfits…!) and I enjoyed wearing them again.

The ball was lovely, as usual, and filled with well dressed people and more uniformed gentlemen than we have seen in recent years. The dancing was well executed and the intermission boasted a lavish spread of refreshments that both looked and tasted scrumptious.

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Bowers, during the Grand March.

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Bowing at the end of a polka.

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One small portion of the refreshments table.

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Looking lovely and dashing.

You can see more pictures of the event at Raven’s Plaid Petticoats blog post about Returning Heroes.

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About quinnmburgess

Quinn M. Burgess creates reproduction and costume historic clothing. Her inspiration has a strong foundation in history: historic dress, social history, and material history. With the addition of clothing construction knowledge, her passions converge in an imaginative world of creative history that she loves to share with others.
This entry was posted in 1860s, 19th Century, Accessories, Fashion Plates, Hair Styles, Hoops and Bustles, Victorian Clothing, Vintage Dancing: 19th Century, Wearing Reproduction Clothing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Floral Headband For Annabelle (Returning Heroes Ball 2014)

  1. Sabine says:

    The very first picture you’ve shared is AMAZING!!! It’s like a period painting…a moment beautifully caught with the camera 🙂
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Gina White says:

    Oh Quinn! You look stunning! I love all the flowers on your gorgeous dress (OHMYGOSH it is crazy ruffly!!!) and the flowers in your hair!! Laaaaaa!! The perfect vision of a lovely dancer!

    Blessings!
    Gina

  3. Danielle says:

    Oooh it’s so pretty!! I love the hairstyle with the headband it looks perfect! What did you attach the flowers too to make the headband??

  4. brocadegoddess says:

    Oh my, so exquisite! Your headband is perfect, your whole ensemble is perfection! And I gotta say I also really like that shot blue dress, with the wide lace at the neck (is that still a bertha?)

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