Hello Is Too Often a Formality

As few people really care to be inundated with my historical ramblings, I figured I would create a separate outlet that would be entirely optional for those who know me. For those acquainted with me, you know several things to be solid fact. One of those truths, is that I am a tremendous, self professed, inoperable nerd. Not the sort that ever could have tolerated being shoved in a locker, but one of those closet cases with endless scraps of utterly useless information.

That being said, one of my passions is living history. It was inevitable that one day I would be wholly ensnared in that realm and I must say, I thoroughly enjoy it. It's not necessarily something that I can explain, loquacious as I am known to be. Always have I been mesmerized by history. For as long as I can recall. Even as a child, I would enter an historic location and immediately become hypnotized by the essence yet thriving. It is no different now, and my heart is glad for it. The draw is undeniable and I do succumb.

View you these postings with an open heart and open mind. They are meant merely as a conveyance of my passion for history, connections and experiences.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mourning Belles Are Tolling

Behold the newest creation from 'Belle Von Saxony'! This is my mourning dress for Remembrance Day. Some of you are already aware that this very dress was simply the bane of my existence. Honestly, it was the Murphy's Law of dresses. Whatever could go wrong DID go wrong, about seven times. I battled it out though, cursed, tantrumed, thrust forth a determined chin and kept on. I completed the dress on Halloween. (For the exception of the collar, which I must still acquire on my next flight to Gettysburg).*

Mourning dresses are not meant to be very frivolous, as they are worn by those who are grieving. As such, there is not much razzel dazzel to this latest culmination of guesswork, luck and fabric. It is black cotton with black velvet trim on the bodice skirt and pagoda sleeves. (Big fan of the pagoda, right here. Although they do you no favors when you are trying to maneuver around a table of herb bottles and tonics).

Initially, I wanted to add this fantastic black velvet and braid trim to the bodice. Just a touch of it around the bosom. Well, not like around around, that would be really weird- not to mention WAY off from being period correct. However, when I donned the dress fully for the first time, in a very strange "Levys" kind of way- something decided for me that the bodice should NOT have the very pretty trim. Maybe it will eventually...

The dress is accessorized with black fancy undersleeves with black glass buttons that match the buttons down the bodice. (By coincidence, actually, not design). It should be noted that a few of these photos are missing the undersleeves and another key accessory because halfway through I remembered, 'Oh my, I'm not quite dressed!' Though difficult to see in most shots, I am also sporting a "French Jet" mourning brooch at the collar line. It's mid Victorian and gorgeous. That particular piece haunted me until I finally went back to the antique shop and purchased it.

You may note the locket my persona is clutching in the photos. The image therein is very near and dear to my heart. It is a handsome photo of Lt. Colonel A.S "Sandie" Pendleton. There is no feigned anguish upon my visage, it is genuine sorrow- reflecting upon Sandie's tragic death. He fell at Fisher's Hill September 22nd, 1864, going on to his Savior the following day.

The finishing and fetching touch of the ensemble is the Virginia mourning cockade, a very thoughtful and fitting gift from my very dear friend General Ewell. I feel it draws the whole outfit together and serves a beautiful purpose.

Come Remembrance Day, I will be with my Dixie Roses representing the widows of fallen soldiers during the Civil War. It is a privilege to honor those stalwart women who endured such hardships and loss. Many of these widows did not marry again, choosing to remain in mourning for the rest of their lives. Others, found love once more and set aside their weeping veils. I feel confident speaking for the rest of the ladies of our group in declaring heartfelt pride in showing our appreciation and reverence for the soldiers who have passed. We're not just wearing black on behalf of our personas. We don it for those who have served, those who have sacrificed and those who have fallen.

No comments:

Post a Comment