Some of you may remember that last year I attended the Jane Austen Society of North America’s AGM (national conference) in Louisville, where I had the chance to dress up in this beautiful, modified court dress made by our niece, Jennifer S. Klassen.
This year, Lord willing, my husband and I will attend the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England. In preparation, I am having a spencer jacket and bonnet made. Here are a few photos of spencers I like from Pride and Prejudice (1995):
Since it would be a challenge to fit another full-length dress into my suitcase, I’ve decided to try to be packing-efficient and wear the gold underdress for two events. I’ll wear it with the blue overdress for the evening dance, and with a spencer jacket and bonnet for the daytime “Grand Regency Costumed Promenade,” along with gloves, reticule, and perhaps a parasol as well.
Bath’s Jane Austen Festival holds the Guinness World Record for “The Largest Gathering of People Dressed in Regency Costumes” (officially 409 in 2009 and numbers up to 550 in 2014). Who knows? Maybe we’ll set a new record this year.
Our talented niece Jenni has made both of my Regency dresses so far. But I have also wanted to have Matti’s Millinery & Costumes make something for me ever since these two Minnesota sisters made the costume for the cover of my book, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall. They make such beautiful gowns and accessories for several time periods. Check out their website and you will see what I mean.
Since Matti and Hannah live within driving distance, they invited me to come over and try on some of their creations in person, to help choose a style and fabric. I thought the navy was a bit too dark on me, but I really liked the color and style of this red spencer. Since the blue lining of the dress shimmers through the gold stripes, I decided a bright blue velvet would be even better.
Here is the bonnet I chose. Hannah or Matti will re-trim it with blue ribbon and decoration to coordinate with the spencer. My husband saw this photo and said, “It’s Little Bo Peep.” Everyone’s a critic. 🙂
I will be sure and post a photo of the finished spencer and bonnet when I can. Until then, the question is: Will I get my husband to dress up in period costume as well? You’ll have to “tune in” to future blogs to find out.
Would you dress up and participate in such an event? Have you? Do share.