Just back from another successful event – this time in Hereford. We were hired by Black Knight HIstorical to participate in the local festivities, and since the town was celebrating, amongst other things, the 200 years since the publication of Pride and Predjudice, it was Mr. Darcy and his wife that was required.
I must admit I was reluctant to acceppt the job on offer at first – I am not a fan of Regency fashions. Men’s garb – divine. Elegant, dashing, sexy. Women’s – not so much, at least in my opinion. You do need to have a certain figure for it, and I do not count myself amongst those blessed with it. The only thing I have from that period is my riding habit – a copy of the one from Kyoto museum. but since the organisers were fine with the riding habit and Lucas in his wedidng gear ( 1815, again, Kyoto museum), the contract was signed. there was no coming back…
Looking at the weather forecast, a week before I was tempted to make myself a lighter dress. wool habit is all fine in a typical British summer, but since we were experiencing a climate anomally ( sun and temperatures above 26 degrees, in July! most odd), i thought i might be a tad too warm. But then again, such a sunny spell is surely not to last, I will be fine – and besides making a new gown would require new shoes, new reticul, bonnet – and i am already drowning under other projects. And so, hoping for the return of normal summer, I stuck with the habit.
and oh, Iwas wrong. the temperature on th day reached 30 degrees:_)
We arrived in Hereford on Friday and booked into a local Premier Inn. norlammy, i do like them – i do love a firm bed! but this time we realised that surely there must have been a mistake and we were piut not in a standard room, but in a sauna unit. No air conditioning ( just heating) and only a fan to wave the hot air around – well, the night was long, hot and sweaty and not the best in my life.
Still, we survived and having broken our fast in the morning it ws time to get ready.
Lucas was first – though keeping it light and using the fan to cool his manly chest…
Then it was my time – and we decided to record all the layers I was wearing on the day.
First – the chemise – here a bit of a compromise was reached and I wore a later, mid Vicorian one – it had shorter sleeves…
Next, cotton stockings
Then the corset…
Then a cravat and wool skirt, bodiced. Not the best photo but I believe my Mr. Darcy was starting to feel the heat at that point. I knew I was!
The riding boots, hat and the jacket had to wait – we had to drive to the towncentre first.
Here aready fully dressed, with Mrs. Bennett, my dear mama, also sporting one of my creations, but , lucky woman, in silk.
The day began with a procession through town – the pleasant experience was somehow marred by some sights that no costumier is immune to, but considering they were local folks who were probably asked to assmeble bits and pieces together, I firmy resolved to stay quiet (ish)….
after the parade we promanaded in the town centre, chatting to the public and directing them towards the Castle Green where things were happening. We had a short break when we took some refreshment in a local hotel – that caused a bit of a stir:_0 refreshments and tea were served to us in a lovely ballroom ( the coolest room there,,,)
Upon our return to the Castle Green, we sat in shade under the pavillion ( modern, alas) prodived by the organizers, and entertained the visitors – and ourselves too!
More promenading ensued, and a visit to a cathedral, where we had a chance to taste a local speciality – Cider sorbet. perfect.
At lunch we found ourselves making our way to a little cafe , very aptly named:-)
All thoughout, although it was hot, it was actually as bad as i had feared – just bearable, Still, we were all glad to change into lighter clothing by the end of the day! Maybe our attire was not the most suitable for the weather but it definatelly attracted attention and provided an excellent conversational gambit – many ‘ Gosh, you must be hot in this! turned into nice converstaions on the fashions and customs of the day 🙂