What Goes Around Comes Around

A few days ago I was bumming around Pinterest as I often do, and came across a couple of dresses that made me do a double take…Regency on the Runway? Then again, the empire waist has come and gone throughout time and this is the most recent interpretation on the style. These dresses imbue the decadence of the Regency ball gown.

     

For comparison here are a couple of Regency era ball gowns.

    

I am by far no fashionista; however, even my untrained eyes can see the similarities in these dresses: the deep v cut in the bodice, the use of metallic lace and thread, an overskirt that compliments the underskirt. Here is a snip-it from the January 1812 issue of  La Belle Assemblee: For gala dresses and the ball-room, the habiliments of the fair are yet more diversified; white and gold is still very prevalent, and lace gowns, both black and white, over various coloured satins: white satin, ornamented with a rich trimming of coqlelicot, with cornelian ornaments, for coral is now only worn in a morning, or to receive a small dinner party: pale pink gossamer satin, with pearl ornaments; and white crape and leno frocks for the younger part of the assembly, form the most prominent features in the annals of full dress. Humm…The description seems to apply for dresses 200 years later!

Out of all the ball gowns and wedding dresses the world has seen Princes Charlotte’s wedding dress (Jane Austin’s World has a great post on this) is one of the most decadent. It was described by La Belle Assemblee :”The manteau was of silver tissue lined with white satin, with a border of embroidery to answer that on the dress, and fastened in front with a splendid diamond ornament. Such was the bridal dress”

Of course, I could not resist searching the interweb for more modern and not so modern Regency style. For example, the maxi dress and all of its interpretations can be found anywhere at all price points. I own at least five of these jersey dresses in every imaginable color and prints. They remind me of the simple muslin day dress  of the Regency era.

    

For comparison here are a couple of Regency era day dresses.

  

There are no overt similarities in these dresses; however, they are all very simple dresses with a high waist line. Here is a snip- it from Ackermann’s Repository regarding the photo below: “Walking Dress [standing]— Robe of White Indian muslin, with Spanish vest and Flemish skirt, ornamented at the bottom, bosom, and sleeves with needlework, or appliquéd lace; antique cuffs, pointed collar, fastened in the center of the throat with a topaz broach. Bonnet á la Mary Queen of Scots, composed of intertwined crape and straw, and lined throughout with rose-coloured sarsnet; the extremity of the crown finished with Vandyke scallops in white satin, the edges terminated with straw; a small bouquet of autumnal flowers in front, blended with bows of white satin ribbon, and tied under the chin with the same. French tippet of leopard skin shag. Shoes and gloves of rose-coloured kid.

Candice Hern has a wonderful collection of Regency fashion on her website.

These are three dresses are from around 1912; amazingly, they could  fit right in, either now or the Regency era. It is fascinating to me how fashion reinvents itself yet stays so similar.

    

Unfortunately,  men’s clothing has not seen the same renewal and revival as women’s clothing has over the last 200 years. I don’t understand how the handle bar mustache can come back and yet men’s Regency fashion has not.  We need more men in tight breeches and cravats. *Sigh* Oh well, I shall just end this post with some Regency era eye candy!!

  

 

 

Advertisements

Supersizers Go Regency: Would You Like Some Gout With That?

Supersizers Go Regency: The Dandy and the Spinster

 

Late at night, I often find myself watching the Cooking Channel; luckily for me I found this gem of a show Supersizers Go on one of those late night cooking show binges . This series originally appeared on the BBC in 2009 and follows Giles Coren a food critic and journalist and comedian Sue Perkins on their journey through the history of British cuisine. Of course being the Regency geek that I am I couldn’t wait to chance upon it one night at 1:00 am so I scoured the interwebs or rather YouTube and got my Regency Era food fix.

In this episode Giles and Sue are brother and sister, landed gentry. Giles has an inheritance of  £50,000, equivalent to £2.5 million today, is a dandy and on his way to both debtor’s prison and gout (The disease of Kings). Sue, on the other hand is on her way to a much more dire fate: becoming an Ape Leader… Oh, the woes of a poor relation and spinster sister! I have to say that Giles is very dashing as a Regency Era dandy.

Just Hungry wrote a great review on this episode including the list of food below; 5000 calories worth of food a day (so much food, at the very least scroll down and take a gander of Giles in hot pink rollers):

List of food and drink consumed in this episode

Breakfast

  • Toasted Bread
  • Turtalong (bread rolls looking like mini-bagels)
  • Seed cake
  • Marmelade
  • Jam
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Tea (they were complaining about the weakness of the tea…it seems Sue Perkins prefers “builder’s strength” dark tea)

Dinner

Taken any time between 11AM and 2PM

First Course:

  • Mackerel broiled with Herbs
  • Roast Beef (very very well cooked)
  • Yorkshire Pudding
  • Spinach
  • Wow-wow Sauce (sauce made with gherkins, onions and port)
  • Port
  • Sherry

Second Course:

  • Jugged Hare (cut up bunny mixed with herbs and steam-cooked in a jug for three hours)
  • Potted Venison
  • Beetroot Pancakes
  • Asparagus
  • Trifle
  • German Wines
  • Port

Supper

By fashionable candlelight, around 10PM

  • Cold roast beef
  • Sweetbreads
  • Apple Pie
  • English Rarebit (cheese on port-soaked toast)
  • Stewed Celery
  • Port
  • Sherry

Giles’ breakfast in bed, as the Prince Regent ate

Hot pink rollers. The trials of being a dandy.

  • A big Meat Pie with 2-3 pigeons and beef
  • Champagne
  • Port
  • Moselle
  • Claret
  • Laudanum to kill the pain

(The Prince Regent suffered from gout and became morbidly obese. His nickname in the press was the Prince of Whales.)

Taking the waters at Bath

  • Spring water to treat whatever ails you
  • Ice cream (flavors include brown bread, parmesan, cinnamon, pumpkin, cardamon, nutmeg, tea)

Luncheon at the Inn

On the way to London (Luncheon, also called Noonshine, was the precursor to lunch)

  • Stilton Cheese with optional maggots
  • Cheddar Cheese with cheese mites
  • Cold Meats
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Lobster
  • Asparagus
  • Bread
  • Cider

A Patriotic Beef Steak Supper with members of the Sublime Society of Beefsteaks

  • Beef Steaks
  • Shallots
  • Beetroot
  • Baked Potato
  • Cheese on Toast
  • Mustard
  • Port
  • Stout

Dinner a la Marie-Antoine Carême

First Course:

  • Potage de Bisque à la Régence
  • Pain de Volaille
  • Champagne
  • Sherry

Second Course:

  • Bure de Sanglier en Galatine (a stuffed and dressed boar’s head, with jellies and deep fried cockscombs)
  • Bâtelets à la Royale
  • Saumon à la Rothschild (salmon poached in champagne with truffles)
  • Chartreuse
  • More Champagne

Dessert:

  • Pièce Montée (an elaborate sugary centerpiece)
  • Strawberry Soufflé
  • Meringues
  • Marzipan Fruit
  • Vol-au-Vents à la Neslé (a savory puff pastry pie, with a surprise inside of cockerel’s testicles, an aphrodesiac)
  • Even more Champagne

Byron’s Breakfast before a duel

Apparently Byron was a bullemic and anorexic obsessed with this weight.

  • Tea mixed with a raw egg

Gambling snack

Where Giles gambles away his family fortune

  • Sandwiches (meat in between slices of bread, invented by hardened gambler Lord Sandwich)

Giles in Debtors’ Prison

  • A Cheshire Pork Pie, brought in by Sue (to last for several days)
  • Port

Ball to celebrate the Coronation (1821)

Desperately seeking Sue or Sue seeking Desperately

Preliminaries:

  • Sue massages her head with raw eggs and gives herself a brandy-milk-lemon facial, then rinses her hair with rum

Ball Supper:

To start:

  • Brandy and claret punch
  • White Soup (soup with mutton, veal, bacon, almonds, macaroni)

Main:

  • Hare Cake in Jelly
  • Chicken Hogs Tongues
  • Petit Pasties of Veal
  • Collared Beef
  • Pyramids of Crayfish (in jelly)
  • Asparagus
  • Sandwiches
  • Artichoke Bottoms
  • Trifles
  • Sweetmeats
  • Champagne
  • Claret
  • Sherry
  • Hock
  • Port

Dessert:

  • Selection of ices

Series : Too Much of a Good Thing?

My first post was a review on the latest Alexandra Hawkins novel in her Lords of Vice series and it got me thinking about serials in general. Romance novels draw us like flies with that one line on the back cover: The first book in an exciting new series by…! I purchase the book and devour it, become excited by the preview for the next book and ultimately depressed when i realize that I must wait a year for the next installment. Of course, the flip side to this is having books to look foward to throughout the series. All off this leads up to my personal pet peeves.

1. The long wait : I don’t claim to understand anything about the world of publishing or the demands on a writer. That being said, why must we the readers wait up to a year for the next book?

2. Forget me, forget me not : So the wait is over, the new book is out and I remember nothing about the previous book. This is a chronic problem I have; worse yet I trade my books in so I no longer have the first book to reread. I must admit this is slowly becoming less of a problem now that I have a kindle. However, the fact remains that I have to reread the previous book(s) in order to know what’s going on.

3. Disappointment abounds : This happens often; the first book was great but the rest seem to be rushed and make little impression on me. Of course, I continue to read the series sometimes unwittingly; because, well I must reach the ending of the series.

4. Missing books, what? : There have been several instances where I really get into a series and it just stops, for no reason that I can tell. For example, the Flambeau Sisters series by Patricia Grasso where she introduced seven sisters; one would expect seven books but no, only three get a story. In fact two of the books are part of the Kasanov series as well. This irritates me, why introduce so many characters when the majority aren’t getting a story of their own.

5. Repeat repeat : I know most plot lines are not that orginal, that doesn’t really bother me too much. However, when a book is basically repeated in the same series I kinda spaz out. Stephanie Laurens does this often in her series, most recently with the Cynster Sisters Trilogy. The first two books are almost identical… the names of the characters and the rout they took changed. However, both books spend the entire time discussing how to get from point A to point B through point C and D. I digress…a future blog perhaps?

And finally 6. The finale aka THE END : After spending sometimes years reading all the books of a series every character has had their 15 minutes of fame. No matter how bad some of the books may be I’m always a little broken hearted. I was desolate when I finished The Hathaways Series by Lisa Kleypass one of my all time favorite series.

So, I think that covers all my pet peeves. The conclusion, for me at least there is no such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to a series. No matter what may annoy me about them I will always be a sucker for The first in an exciting new series by …!

What are your pet peeves about serials, do you like them or hate them or are you absolutely addicted to them?