Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Another trip to Lost Hope

For Costume College this past summer, a group of ladies decided to make Lost Hope costumes inspired by the fabulous book and BBC miniseries, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.  I had already made one Lost Hope costume a few years ago, but after seeing this world brought to life in the new miniseries, I was totally charmed by the silvery gowns seen at the nightly faerie balls, as well the creepiness of the scenes where the not-quite-human moss-oak version of Arabella wandered through the wilderness in a black gown. Confused?  Go watch the miniseries! *cough*youtube*cough* It's SO GOOD!

So instead of re-wearing my old gown, I decided to combine these two influences into one dress by adding some silver sparkle and a few fun accessories to my black Regency mourning gown. I found some silver lamé fabric in the clearance bin with a design that reminded me of gnarled wood. It's pretty gaudy in large doses, but when you just see glimpses of the pattern and sparkle under the sheer black fabric of my mourning gown, it fit my vision perfectly for an oak-y ballgown.  The lamé undergown is a bib-front style dress, and I could also wear this gown on its own... if I ever want a disco-themed Regency costume.

Sleeveless overbodices were a popular way to dress up Regency ballgowns, so I decided to also use the lamé to make a new bodice to wear over my gown.  I ended up cutting it too high in the back at the waistline, so I had to improvise and add a little peplum to cover the gap.  But this turned out to be a happy accident because I think the peplum adds a fun detail to an otherwise simple garment.  I had originally planned on embellishing my bodice with lots of beads and spangles and embroidery, but I ran out time, and honestly, I'm not sure how much that sort of thing would show up anyway since the fabric is already pretty busy.

I also made a faerie tiara by twisting together some plastic sprigs of grain sold with the fall floral supplies.  I wanted my costume to be sort of creepy and earthy, so I added some plastic bugs to my tiara for good measure before spray panting the whole thing silver.  I also loved the look of moss-oak Arabella's wavy, raven-colored hair, so I bought a long, black, 3/4 wig, and I sprayed the front of my own hair with temporary hair color to match. A simple beaded necklace and a pair of silver flats from the resale shop finished off my outfit.

We had a large group of gorgeous Lost Hope characters at Costume College, including a wide variety of fairies, Lady Pole, and the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair.  We never managed to get everybody who participated in one spot at one time, but we did arrange a few group photos where you can see most of our faerie finery. This was such a fun theme for a group costume project, and I LOVED seeing all of these creative interpretations of magical Regency fashions.  

Unfortunately, sunny California summers don't make the best backdrop for slightly sinister moss-oak gowns, so I've been dragging my feet about posting this write-up in the hopes that I could take some better photos in a more appropriate setting.  I finally had my wish granted this past weekend, and I snuck away on the evening of Halloween to take some pictures in a muddy park after a few days of heavy rain. Then I used Photoshop to make the photos even darker and more blue to match the look of the miniseries.  Much better!   Now I feel like I'm finally ready for an otherworldly faerie ball.


Stephanie Lynn said...

So fabulous! I particularly love your tiara. It adds so much to the outfit. :)

Merrian said...

Love the whole outfit and how you've presented it in the photos. The tiara is a perfect foil to the dress.

Mooneybeams said...

Oh, I do love this so much. And the wonderfully atmospheric photos you finally managed to take - definitely worth waiting for! I've been stalking a few costume blogs for a while now, working myself up to attempting something of my own. I will definitely be starting with something Regency, as I just love the early high-waisted look.

Bianca Esposito said...

Gorgeous! The metallic fabric underneath the sheer black creates such a beautiful effect! I'll have to go watch this series as I wasn't sure about it before.

Anonymous said...

Your outfit is so beautiful, and I love the crown!

Black Tulip said...

Wow! Love the dress, and the tiara is perfect for the general creepiness of Lost Hope. Fabulous photos as well.

Maggie said...

I LOVE how this turned out - and how the photos turned out!!

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Vincent Briggs said...

Beautiful outfit and magnificently dark forest-y photos! I really love how the layered fabric looks.

Vincent Briggs said...

This post finally prompted me to watch Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and holy crap IT'S SO GOOD! Thank you so much for recommending it!! I need to make myself a Gentleman With The Thistle Down Hair costume at some point, because he has almost the same fingernails as me.

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