Last Friday, our costuming group was supposed to attend Frightened Felons, which was of course my "excuse" for making my 1863 mourning ensemble. Well, life and sickness decided that perhaps that evening would not be a good idea to attend an event that a dress was planned around. So I was not able to attend and therefore not able to wear my new 1863 mourning dress with all my fun goodies...that was made to attend Frightened Felons! Our group has decided that after one of our members gets her dress complete, we will try again for an occasion to wear our Victorian mourning.
However, the trees here in the valley are so beautiful right now and I knew they would be a fantastic background palette for the mourning colors, that I really wanted to have a photo shoot at one of the local cemeteries...Dry Creek Cemetery. It is quite a large cemetery and was started in 1865, two years after Idaho became a territory. There is a "pioneer" section in the 130 acres that is now the current cemetery and that is where I wanted my pictures to be taken (no chances of houses or cars making their way into my photographs...). Of course we are just going to make believe that the dates on the tombstones are much, much older that they really are... (ie, not from the 1920s or the 1890s...You get the picture...)
I wanted to make a cemetery wreath like the ones I have seen in photographs from the Victorian Era, so I made one from silk flowers and a styrofoam wreath. The flowers I chose were white roses (Innocence and purity), white freesias (Innocence) and white lilies (Purity). I really like the contrast between the white flowers in the wreath and the black of my dress.
Another neat-o accessory/antique I have in my collection is an 1850 German prayer book. At the last minute, I thought it would be a nice addition to my mourning ensemble.
I wasn't sure if I would use the veil as I didn't want the gathering on my bonnet to be hidden, but after putting it on, I noticed that it was sheer enough to let the gathers be seen. Yeah!!!
Reading a mourning letter. This one is from Sherwood, England of all places and dates from the 1890s. Still a very neat piece of mourning history.
Yes, I am very much aware that this is a little corny, but I was trying to use all the items I chose to accessorize my outfit with...too bad I didn't have any Visine to fake my tears...
I am so happy that we were able to squeeze this little shoot in between freezing applesauce and picking my oldest son up from school! Thank you God for holding the rain for us while I hurridly posed and Mom hurridly took my pictures! And thank you for giving me a Mom that understands me and is willing to partake in my silliness! I am blessed!!
Be blessed my friends!!
Lovely dress and bonnet, and a very picturesque place for pictures as well. It's sad you didn't get to wear it for an event, but I'm sure you will eventually!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! I did have fun yesterday. It was sad that we didn't get to go the event, but there will be more!!
There needs to be a LOVE button here! I LOVE all the details in your gown, and especially the belt buckle and hankie purse. And you had a beautiful location to boot! If you get to CoCo next year, I want one of these photos for Caught on Camera because I plan to do a whole section on our 100 years of Mourning Fashion, and will expand it with any others that pop up.ReplyDelete
Whoot! Thank you so much Val! I so very much love Victorian and Edwardian mourning accessories...don't know why, I just do! I have downloaded the pics of the purse I took and will message them to you on Facebook. Don't know if I will be going to Coco this year...but if I do, you can totally use one of the photos!!Delete
As always this is stunning! The dress is perfect and the location was beautiful. I really like some of your poses and will have to remember them. ;)ReplyDelete
Oh thank you so much Valerie!! I chose the poses after seeing them on lithographs or paintings and wood cuttings from the era...they looked so very wonderful!!Delete
I hope you are feeling better! Your attention to details never ceases to amaze me!! The sleeve ruffles look so nice with the skirt pleats and pocket. Every part of your ensemble goes together PERFECTLY! Absolutely GORGEOUS!!
Wishing you well,
Hi there Anneliese!!Delete
It actually wasn't me that was sick it was my son...he was very ill....but better now! Thank you for you most wonderful compliments sweet lady!!
Gina, I loved seeing the finished dress! The photos are great, and it's wonderful that you have an old cemetery nearby. I have been hunting through the blog to find out about your mourning veil. Did you make it, or is it an antique that you found someplace? Love your work, and can't wait to see more.ReplyDelete
Hello there Angela!Delete
Thank you for your lovely compliments! The veil is actually an antique that I found on line. It is made of silk. I have two others that are larger and a bit thicker. I think I found two on ebay and the other was gifted to me by a wonderful friend! I can't wait to peruse your blog!!!
This is amazing, your mourning looks wonderful, and I love all the accessories, including the lachrymal vial! I really want to find one of those! The setting is lovely too, so peaceful!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your wonderful compliments! I truly love all Victorian and Edwardian mourning. I really can't explain why, I just do! On this day, it was overcast and really quiet and truly peaceful. A very lovely final resting place! I found my lachrymal vial on ebay believe it or not! I was thrilled to get it....
Amazing costume. The pleating on the skirt is fabulous, and I love that the fabric has no sheen to it - perfect for full mourning.ReplyDelete
The photographs are great as well. Was there anyone else visiting the cemetery at the time; you could have given them quite a shock.
Hello Black Tulip!Delete
Thank you for your wonderful compliment! The fabric is cotton! I know that most mourning dresses were made of silk and wool, but the cotton really spoke to me...
My mom takes wonderful pictures so I will pass along your compliment to her! There were some cars driving through the cemetery, but not a lot of people. The cars did slow down though when they passed us! I am sure they didn't know what to think! ;-)
I love your dress and entire mourning outfit, it's stunning! The photos are very beautiful!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! This was a very fun outfit to wear...I will tell my mom that you like the photos!
I wrote a very elaborate comment one day, but my smartphone is crazy and it got deleted before I published it, so I'll try again. WHOA! I love this look! The dress is gorgeous and even I'm not a huge fan of pagoda sleeves, I think I'll make an exception for these - I love the small ruffles! And I love how the bonnet matches the dress. Though I must admit, if I was all alone and saw a figure like that on a cemetery, I'd probably faint. Also, this might sound weird, but it's a really lovely cemetery! It's not cramped and you can see each gravestone. The photo of you lying on the ground is so so beautiful! It looks A LOT like a period painting, and so does your pose. Ok I guess that's enough, cause I'm getting close to writing an essay on your dress and the photos, haha!ReplyDelete
Oh how I hate my smartphone some days Eleonora! It can truly provoke me to anger!! Thank you for your lovely compliments on the dress! I too am not fond of pagoda sleeves...they require a huge amount of fabric and are a pain to eat in! But I had seen several examples of extant garments using them with the small ruffles and had enough fabric so I just went ahead. Here in Idaho we have colossal quanties of land, so our cemeteries are quite spacious with lots of open-ness around and in them! This one wasn't the oldest, but I knew it had lots of trees and the leaves are gorgeous! After looking at the photos Mama took and then editing them on Picasa, I too would have fainted had I seen a figure such as myself in the cemetery! Some of them looked quite spooky!!Delete
Well, thank you again for your lovely clost to an essay! It was quite lovely!
I love it! Although I would probably be scared to death if I ever saw you on cementary in this outfit with veil down ;)ReplyDelete
Hello Ms. Nelly!Delete
Thank you! I know what you mean about seeing the veiled image of myself....after looking at the pictures, they do have a very eerie feel to them!!
Fantastic photos! What wonderful attention to details. I love that you did some photos in color and others in black and white/sepia.ReplyDelete
Emily's Vintage Visions
Thank you for your lovely compliments! I really love changing some of my color images to look like they were taken long ago! Someday I will get a photo editing program that lets me manipulate the photos to look like they are daguuerreotypes! Then the fun can really begin!