Thursday, February 14, 2013

WTF: Regency

L'amour, L'amour!

Some say that only the French can truly understand l'art de la Romance. I disagree. In honor of Valentine's Day, I present a very English fashion plate as my... "special" valentine to all of you.


Rendered in the rapturous glowing pastels of a Summer sunset over the Thames is this gorgeous image from our friends at La Belle Asfemblee. And who but they could have captured the resplendent elegance of this lovely damsel in her new pink frock? Truly, an artist of the highest caliber was employed for this plate; an individual singularly in tune with both the wisdom of the Old Masters and the inspirational qualities of an opium pipe.

Appreciate, if you can, the emphasis on our Rosie's waist. A bedazzled belt? Absolutely! But open your mind... allow your inner eye to embrace the glory of her embellished skirt! Savor the immutable charm of a series of graduated trapezoids that vaguely resemble scabby dresser drawers. And what could be more romantic than thinking of a woman's scabby drawers?

Consider, if you are able, the divine mystery of a one-legged maiden; Where did her other foot go? Why is she wearing the wrong shoe on her one remaining foot? How has she come to have a slab of bacon upon her coiffure?

Discern, if you are so gifted, the veritable Gordian Knot of bosom she boasts! Observe the seemingly haphazard arrangement of flesh... is it so random after all? Of course not! A true artist sees immediately that she represents the divine Justitia, and her roving spencer weasels are the very scales of Justice. These are poignant remembrances of the imbalance we often face in matters of equity and fairness, as well as a startling reminder to never insert a wooden busk in your stays while intoxicated.

Happy Valentine's Day, folks!


With all the love in the world to Nuranar, who probably weeps every time she opens her Flickr album.

14 comments:

  1. "roving spencer weasels"

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  2. Scabby drawers??????? Hhheeeeee heeeee!
    What about the strange CF plastron, enforcing that heart-quickening fashion must-have, the sloppy-underboob??
    Oh, my VDay is just made,
    Auntie Nan

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    1. Sloppy underboob is the new black. It's a fact.

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  3. Spencer weasels oh jeeze ...

    I love this series you do times a million!

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  4. Your sensational description puts even the 1902 Sears and Roebuck catalog advertisement for the Giant Power Heidelberg Electric Belt to shame.

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    1. Now THAT is praise. Though I should point out that my words do not have the power to electrically charge a man's... trouser weasel? Nor do I have quite as much imagination as Dr. Heidelberg. I bow before my betters.

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  5. Holy cow, I giggled at this when I saw the article, and just NOW did I see the note to me! Haha! Yes, there is some awful stuff mixed in with the fascinating stuff. Have you seen the amazing puddle-jumping ruffle monster?

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  6. Nuranar! It's a privilege and an honor to tell you THANK YOU for the incredible gallery of Regency fashion plates. You always get a tagline (and a note) when I swipe a plate, so feel free to peruse the WTF archives for all of the embarrassing appeals to your better nature that have been posted over the past year.

    Puddle-jumping ruffle monster?! I really, REALLY need to find that little gem. What year is she?

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    1. :D I'm SO SO GLAD that you find them useful! It's really tedious to crop (and rotate, because they're photos, not scans, ugh), but I'm still overcome by all the yummy stuff I see. I want everyone else to see how much is out there, not just what is interpreted in the movies! Even when it's good costuming, it's so limited. The breadth and variety is amazing.

      There are actually two ruffle monsters, both English, from 1811. (There's some squirrely stuff in English fashion during the blockade. Waistlines take a dive immediately, for one thing. Some are are pretty, but otherwise there are some really peculiar goings-on.) Here they are:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/51592109@N08/4844068530/in/set-72157624616333004
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/51592109@N08/4843451427/in/set-72157624616333004

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    2. Fodder for the grist mill. Those are definitely on the chopping block. The second of the lot just... wow.

      I've saved a pile of the fashion plates for personal sewing inspiration as well. The bonnets alone are incredible! What has blown my little mind the most is the variety of trim and texture on those gowns. You're absolutely right; the variety of Regency fashion is woefully under-represented by modern film.

      And now, I'm off to throw rocks at the Ruffle Monster(s).

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  7. AHAHA, I LOVED this post. I am new to your blog but I'm giggling inappropriately at work due to this fine work of writing.

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  8. love the sharp vuagarity of the captions to these sartorial gems. Made my day, and I'll pass the link on to similarly costume obsessed friends. Currenly trying to make some leather stays,that pattern generator site is genius!

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    1. Huzzah! Another leather stay-maker! Check out Isis' Wardrobe. She's been posting some of her research lately about leather stays. Mainly, it's anecdotes from inventories and books, but it's really interesting. Thank you!

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  9. well, if you want to attract a man and you don't have much going on for you...try bacon. Bacon on your headdress and bacon on your dress. Someone will fall for it.

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