Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pride & Prejudice: Is this Mr Darcy?

I've been looking through my collection of costume pictures and I found one I took at the Museum of Costume in Bath, a couple of years ago, when they were doing a special exhibition of Jane Austen costumes from film and TV. I do rather think that the male mannequin at the back of the display case looks rather like Colin Firth. Do you agree?






Looking back at these pictures reminded me that an awful lot of white was worn and it probably got quite boring. This, for example, is a beautiful gown, but I think it needs that fabulous shawl to liven it up. This one is real, by the way, dating from about 1800, and made of white embroidered muslin (part of Bath's historic collection).










Just to prove that they didn't always wear white, though, I've put up a couple of more colourful gowns for you to drool over. This one is from the production of Emma. A very subtle shade of green, with a beautiful blond lace overdress.







And these two are from the production of Persuasion. Don't the colours zing?


I can quite understand why, from time to time, the ladies of the period longed for something other than white. And really vibrant colours were perfectly acceptable, especially if you were a little older.

Which of these gowns would you covet for yourself, if you were a Regency lady?


Joanna

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Amanda said...

I covet the white muslin. The embroidery's fantastic.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Jane O said...

I loved that exhibition-it's lovely to see those gorgeous gowns again.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Melinda Hammond said...

Gorgeous gowns, Joanna. I must get to Bath again soon! I wonder if the passion for bright colours was because so often they were partying by candle-light?

Melinda Hammond

4:17 PM  
Blogger Gillian Layne said...

I would want the embroidered muslin just because I'm lusting after the shawl--gorgeous!

But alone, I'd grab that navy gown.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Joanna Maitland said...

I agree that the white embroidered muslin is very covetable. And the dark blue shawl sets it off beautifully.

The navy gown, coveted by Gillian, is interesting. There's a very similar one in the collection of original gowns in the Hereford museum where (as some of you will know) I work as a volunteer.

I have loads more costume pics and may include some more in my next blog, provided I can find them!!

Joanna

3:25 PM  
Blogger Jan Jones said...

I want the red one!

I'd also like the Colin Firth costume, please, preferably with the real him inside it...

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

I love that green with the blonde lace overdress!

4:45 AM  

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