V57: Mardi Gras / Carnevale 18th Century Costume + Hair

I’m wearing tea-stained Georgiana silk shoes and Dauphine buckles – they were comfy, and didn’t scuff or get dirty at all.

Last night I went to a belated Mardis Gras Party with some friends.  I was inspired by Fannie of Temps d’Elegance to wear a white costume, and paired an old pet en l’air jacket from last year with an off-white skirt I normally wear with the Revolution polonaise, tea-stained Georgianas on the footsies, and my second try at a 1770s pyramidal hair pouf.

This was also the first time I wore my panniers, and they were great!  I hardly noticed them all night, and they didn’t move, even driving in the car.  The shape they created was subtle – I can tell already I’ll want bigger, badder-ass panniers soon. 🙂

Anywho, here are some photos…

Historical Dog Avi in front, and Fat Dog Blondie pokin’ her head around the side there.
So the hair – I used velcro rollers to make the curls on the sides, but they were visible, so I am thinking of cutting them in half, so that more hair “falls” off the side and they are completely hidden.
The hank in back would be more accurate if it were looped up, but that’s easier said that done.  A clip-in switch pre-looped into position seems like the way to go.
This style is made of two mesh rats running down the sides of my head, to form the inverse pyramid; one hair piece for the bulk of the style, an on long switch down the back.  The rolls are done with velcro rollers, and then I just pinned and stuck a bunch of flowers, feathers, and sparkly doo-dads in various places.
A big-arse bow, how could I resist?  These photos were taken at the end of the night, so the hair had been on for a good 5 hours and held up pretty well.  Practice makes perfect, though, and of course … the goal is to go higher and higher 🙂

More hair experiments to come.  It’s addicting, once you start playing around, and it’ll be good practice for Costume College and Colonial Williamsburg.  I’ll need to improve the speed at which these hairstyles go together – this one took at least 45 minutes, but by being more familiar with what-goes-where, and also creating clip-in rolls and loops, that time will be reduced.  Practice, practice, practice!


  • Anne Elizabeth

    February 26, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Glad the panniers worked out for you! I can still recommend the pattern on marquise.de. They are slightly bigger and sooo practical: They're also collapsible, they can be used as pockets as they have a bottom, and they seem to stick off at a 90° angle when you put them on, but have a nicer shape when the skirts weigh them down a little.
    Many people bother with adding ties to keep them in place, but they are really not necessary.

    • American Duchess

      February 26, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      I'm definitely going to try the Marquise pattern you recommend. I like that 90 degree angle, and the pockets, well those are just plain useful 🙂

    • Lauren R

      February 27, 2012 at 7:50 PM

      Thank you! It's all hair pieces, and I think making some stick-on, pre-styled hair additions is the better way to go. Something else to try 🙂

    • Lauren R

      February 27, 2012 at 7:51 PM

      Hi Tricia – they are indeed tea-stained, though if I did it again, I'd use the instant coffee method. Just way too much tea was needed to color the shoes.

  • Darci

    February 27, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    My hair-bouf secret is a brown knee-sock, folded in thirds. It works beautifully–adds just enough height, and is soft enough that there are no visible edges.
    When are you coming to Williamsburg? That's where I live, and it would be fun to meet!

  • Lucy

    February 27, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    You look absolutly beautiful in this gown (:
    I really like the idea of a very bright costume in combination with the pretty orange eyecatchers (:


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