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Regency Dance Weekend 2017

My last few posts have been about the new Regency clothes I made earlier this year: Orange Boven Pelisse and Hat from 1814 as well as a look at the history behind the description Orange Boven and 1817 Gold Stripe Duchess Evening Gown. Now that I’ve got all the details about the construction and history of these garments recorded, it’s time for a look at the Regency Dance Weekend that provided an opportunity to wear these clothes in the company of other fabulously dressed people and in historical halls built in the early 19th century.

This annual Regency Dance Weekend is organized and run by the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. If you want to see more pictures and read more about the amazing Regency moments I’ve had in past years, I have posts about them here: 2013, 2014, and 2016.

Saturday always begins with dance classes in modern clothes. The hard work we all put in during the day pays off at the evening ball, when we are able to dance with quick reminders of the figures but without full teaching. It’s a very special experience every year!

After a final class on Sunday morning, we take the afternoon off from dancing for a bit of leisure. Often it has been tea, though in some years we’ve had promenades, or even archery! This year we focused on tea, games, and chatting.

This venue, Old Town Hall, has lovely windows that make perfect frames for picture taking!

After tea, those of us running the weekend calmly (well, probably with a lot of scurrying) switch venues to the more elegant Hamilton Hall, where we have a formal ball with a lavish reception. Hamilton Hall is special, with a gleaming sprung floor, musicians balcony, and gorgeous gilt framed mirrors.

Sometimes, though, silliness ensues! I couldn’t resist making a face in the picture below… After that is a face that often happens after I run out of pose ideas…

There is lovely dancing on that evening. The things we’ve all learned have had time to sink in and people dance marvelously, again without teaching.

There are lots of yummy and beautiful foods to tempt everyone away from the ballroom, as well. This year we had some successful fruit filled jellies, a popular dessert in the 19th century.

After lots of dancing (and dish washing–lovely spreads like this with real dishes don’t appear without a fair bit of work behind the scenes) a much needed sitting break provided a nice opportunity for a group photo.

As usual, it was a lovely weekend full of great dancing and meeting lots of lovely new people from around the country, the more local New England area, and even Canada! Maybe some year I’ll get to meet you, too!

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Waves, Curls, Earrings… And Dancing From The 1910s

It’s been over a month now, but back in July I attended a Ragtime ball that proved to be great fun. I wore my tried-and-true 1912 burgundy and gold evening gown (while it’s nice to have new things, it’s also nice to pull beautiful things out of the closet, too!). Despite wearing a dress I’ve worn before, I tried a new style with my hair, including a repurposed (and therefore new-feeling) accessory.

I was inspired by hairstyles like these from the early 1910s. There are more examples on my Hair: 1900-1920 Pinterest board as well, if you’re interested. What I took away from these images was the use of a headband of some sort, the rather large airy shape, and the defined waves and curls.

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c. 1912 Lily Elsie

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La coiffure française illustrée. (1910)

Of course, I decided to try this out the afternoon of the event so I hadn’t thought ahead in terms of what to use for a headband. After casting around a bit I thought of a bead necklace I’d purchased a few years ago that ties with a ribbon. Why not use that as a headband? In addition to the bead-necklace-as-headband, I wore my Downton Abbey Collection earrings, which are quite lovely and matched my dress very well in color and style.

Quinn M. Burgess

It took rather a lot of time to create the front waves with my curling iron. The back loopy curls were time consuming, too, though fun until my arms started to hurt from being held up for extended periods of time.

Quinn M. Burgess (1)

I love how defined the curls came out, though, and while I do think there’s a slightly flat spot at the back of my head I generally think the silhouette is what I was aiming for.

Quinn M. Burgess (2)

Waves, curls, and earrings!

And here is the dancing in action! People were very well dressed and enthusastic at this event and really seemed to have a good time. For most dances there was hardly anyone sitting out! That’s great, especially when the crowd is a mix of ages.

Quinn M. Burgess

Quinn M. Burgess (1)

Quinn M. Burgess (2)

The Gibson Shoe!

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The latest shoe from American Duchess: the Gibson.

Lauren has all sorts of cute shoes planned for 2013, so I’m pretty sure this is only the beginning of what will be more shoe posts this year. Aren’t these cute though? I’m trying to decide between black and brown… If you are at all interested, pre-order-time is the time to make your decision, because if Lauren doesn’t receive enough orders, the style (or certain colors) might be cancelled. And that would be  sad! You now have no excuse. At the very least you should go check them out

 

A Day In The Life of Quinn

6:30am: alarm dings and I press snooze 3 times

7am: wake up, shower, coif hair, apply makeup, dress

8am: grab already packed bags and head out the door

9am: change into Annabelle and participate in the filming of a documentary regarding Henry Bergh, the founder of the ASPCA, by Sagacity Productions

The CVD members who participated in the filming.

2pm: go out to lunch (still in 1860s garb)

It’s hard to sit next to each other in modern seating when wearing hoops!

4pm: head home for a super quick nap

5pm: paint toes and get dressed for a modern evening out

Yes… I do actually wear modern clothes sometimes!

11pm: arrive home, feeling like I’ve just lived at least two days… all in one!

The amazing part? Despite the fact that I didn’t have time to change my 1860s hair style, it worked just as well for my modern look! I got a comment that it looked inspired by the 1940s. Maybe? I think a modern woman always looks distinguished and a bit vintage when wearing her hair up in the evening, since it is just not the style these days (and I was surrounded by mostly college age people… so there were mostly curling ironed hair styles around…). To be entirely fair, there were many amazing parts of that day! I feel blessed that it was mine.