Women In Science: Madame Caplin’s Reformed Corset

20180302_114555
19th Century S&S Corset (Registered in Belgium) Image Courtesy of York Museums Trust

I have various historical interests and for my MA dissertation I decided to integrate my different interests and academic skills – focusing on the medical effects of dress reform and also putting a philosophical spin on it! The focus of my dissertation was the life and work of Madame Roxey Ann Caplin, a Canadian born writer and corset maker (or stay-maker, as Madame Caplin stated) who worked at 58 Berners Street, London throughout nearly the entire 19th Century. She was born in 1793 and died on the 2nd August 1888 – her long life was full of innovation, inspiration and individualism.

Continue reading

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Outfit #3

Next up for my Breakfast at Tiffanys challenge is the party scene! This is probably one of my favourite outfits of the movie (bar a later one which involves a pretty orange coat, but we will get to that…)
The dress in this specific scene is very similar to the previous recreation of another black dress – however I wanted each outfit to be different. I had no other access to a black dress at the time but had a perfect white ballerina style which would look perfect at a party hosted by Holly Golightly…

 

The white dress is a Topshop dress which I have owned for a few years. The ballf2eca9fbc3d021786dad66de315dca6eerina style dress was popular in the 1960s, note the distant similarities to the wedding dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.
Although a longer dress and a fuller shape, it must be remembered that a wedding dress is obviously part of a more formal occasion, and therefore the traditional aspects of fashion and femininity where reflected in the event. By this I mean that dresses would be at a certain length, contrasting with the party in the film, which is an  informal social affair. This allows dresses to be shorter and more casual.
Additionally, ballerina dresses were popular as dress patterns prior to the 1960s.  The picture below this shows two covers to pattern sheets; the image to the right is of a 1960s addition, showing the ballerina style alongside more fitted and glamorous dress styles. In contrast, however not entirely different is a 1940s cover, again showing how the ballerina skirt is common of the time.

The outfit I am wearing is clearly not a direct recreation, however it carries a similar style in reflecting the event in question. For example the hair is not exactly the same. Instead of the twisted messy yet sophisticated look, I opted for a top knot bun, teasing part of my fringe into a little raised quiff, similar to the effect given by Holly’s twisted hair do.

 

I managed to find jewellery which are very similar to the necklace and earrings used. The blue and green earrings are from Accessorize and the necklace from Claires.  The earrings are probably my favourite thing about the whole of the outfit because of the art deco style and peacock colours reflecting in the light. Despite buying both pieces of jewellery from different places they compliment each other really well and could even pass as as a set!

_MG_3831

I did my make up as I normally would for both day to day and evening wear. I always opt for blush cheeks, pink lip and my trusty sleek eyebrow kit!

I hope you enjoyed! x

 

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Outfit #2

Time for my next Tiffany’s outfit!

I’m starting out with the dress again – however this time it was a little different.

In my previous outfit I went out to find a perfect dress to mimic Audrey’s look and was fortunate enough to find a perfect one!

breakfast_at_tiffanys_15.jpeg

This time I couldn’t quite find a perfect match – I tried lots off different sites and shops which were offering a sort of flapper style dress, black with either a ruffled edge or a modern style handkerchief edge. These didn’t shout of to me,I needed something overall more modern, however still in keeping with the 1960’s era. I had a rethink of how I would find a suitable dress at a reasonable price.

I then remembered I had a range of simple old black dresses. One was an old new look buy – a kind of adjustable length body con maxi dress. It was simple, and needed some TLC to make it suitable.

If you don’t have any old black dresses or you don’t want to add anything to a current black dress try find a simple box or t-shirt style – a simple black dress can be very cheap!

The dress which Audrey wears in the film has a sort of fur edging, bringing dimension and texture to the bottom of the dress.

I used the local fabric shop, Boyes, which is a chain store and sells all kinds of fabric and materials for any craft! I managed to pick up some fur cut down to 20cm – which only cost me a grand total of £1.55!

I’m not going lie, my sewing skills are not amazing and I didn’t want to ruin both the fur and the fabric so I nicely asked my Mother House Elf to help. The fur was attached within minutes!

I am delighted with the result of this dress! Such a minimal edit and style however looks so elegant! I must add that if you do try this, make sure the fur is only attached at the top – this is to allow the fur to have some give while trying to get the dress on or off – or even walk!

I’ve recently done a hat post about handmade hats – but for this post I’ve reverted back to the easily accessible and affordable Primark hat at only £4 – which does an excellent job at channeling Audrey’s style! c0165-img_3073.jpg

The earrings I am wearing were a present given to me. They are a 1940s crystal style, but thought they woul
d suit this outfit! However, after observing the way they were made they are nothing more than opaque and silver beads, which are sewn circular around the earring clip. A super affordable and fun way to make crystal style earrings!

The shoes are my favourite sparkly kitten heels from Dorothy Perkins – they work so well with the sparkles in the hat and the earrings!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Outfit #1

FotoFlexer_Photo

Okay, so here it is, the finale of my first Audrey Hepburn outfit!
I had real fun doing this look! My favourite bit would have to be the hair. It took a lot of practice but I think I have nailed it! Additionally there are various ways to do this style so lots of options if you get stuck or just aren’t feeling the hair do!
The necklace was also fun to make; a simple pearl necklace chain with a eye catching brooch!

 

 

_MG_30211 (1)
Dress: Boohoo, £12
Necklace: Homemade
(Brooches: Amazon, £1.40 – £3.00)
(Pearl chain:  Amazon, £1.69)
11245377_10206781000986695_1947901558_n (1)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Hat

So this post is about that hat – the scene where Holly first meets Paul or “Fred” as she nicknames him. She is frantically getting ready to make the 10.45 train after being reminded it is Thursday, and transforms herself instantly into this glamorous outfit.

I just love the hat, the simple colour of it complimented by the white tie, the shape and the wide brim.
Although I would love to make a hat like this, my skills at millinery are non-existence! I scanned the internet and shops to find a suitable hat to fit the budget. Hats are expensive!

There are a lot of replica Tiffany’s hats around – but charge so much money for them! Similarly because the hat itself is so big it would be extremely difficult to find one which would come under my £25 budget!

So, after having difficulties of locating a suitable hat I put the idea to the back of my mind. I was one morning walking through Hull City Centre and passed Primark though the Princess Quays shopping centre. The window in Primark was full of summer and beachwear – all the bikinis  and summer dresses were an explosion of colour to my eye. However on the backwall I managed to see the summer hats, all large brims!

To my excitement I rushed in and found two styles I really liked. They are not one hundred percent similar as the one in Breakfast at Tiffanys – but I looked at them and realised they had a vintage vibe. What I liked about them more was the fact they had a hat tie! Despite none of them having a white tie, I settled on a stripy black hat with a black tie. I think it is a good alternative – and for only £4, it was a definite winner!

Breakfast At Tiffany’s: Pearls

Hello everyone, my next update on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s challenge is Holly’s signature necklace! I’ve found lots of replicas online, some better than others. However I thought it would be fun to put my unique spin on it – and make it myself!

It is a simple design out of a long chain of pearls and a brooch.

If you aren’t so keen on making you’re own unique version of the necklace as I said, replicas are available, however both the prices and quality may vary!

The pearl necklace was an amazon buy at £1.69. This 72″ chain allows three wraps around the neck. Obviously the longer the chain the more wraps can be created; four being the ideal number as it resembles the actual necklace.

The brooch was also from amazon, costing £1.40. The selection available are all beautiful, able to embellish almost anything clothes wise, hats or shoes. The brooch can clip onto the pearl wraps, or if this feels insecure it can be glued or fixed by stitching. I can also double as that hair piece to compliment Holly’s stylish beehive hair. Simply thread a double pin or too through the brooch and secure it to the hair. Similarly the hair piece can also a decorative hair slide or small tiara – anything elegant and silver would work to gain the Holly Golightly look!