For Costume College I got tickets to the Fantasy Tea, and the theme this year is “Victorian Fancy Dress.” The thing is, I had a hard time reconciling the idea of fancy dress– which was popular for evening balls in the Victorian era and involved some seriously involved costumes– with an afternoon tea, which implies “prim and proper” attire. I couldn’t figure out how to make a Victorian-style fancy dress outfit that was still appropriate for daytime and teatime, not to mention the fact that I didn’t think I could handle yet another elaborate outfit made from scratch (or pack it in my limited luggage)
And then it came to me– I didn’t have to do Victorian at all! Instead, I decided to embrace the “afternoon tea” theme and go with a 1950s-style skirt suit, gussying it up to be appropriate for a fancy-dress event. After some brainstorming I chose to focus my costume on these lovely dragonfly hairclips– I’d had my eye on them for ages on eBay, but hadn’t had any excuse at all for purchasing them. I bought four.
To set them off, I thought I could start with an aqua suit and appliqué some pond-like accoutrements onto it, like water lilies, grasses, and cattails. I was lucky enough to find this 1950s-style suit on eBay for a relatively low price– it’s from Watters and Watters (mother of the bride line) and it’s made of silk dupioni. Did I mention that it fit perfectly with no alterations? Jackpot!
To keep the outfit elegant-looking I thought I could use organza as my appliqué fabric (allowing for some neat layering as well). Since I only needed limited amounts, I was able to purchase 1/4 yard pieces of several two-tone colors for a dollar each.
Also, since the original buttons on the suit don’t really go with my theme, I’m going to replace them with these gorgeous iridescent floral buttons.
I’ll top it all off with a lilypad fascinator. Here’s hoping it turns out well!