This time last year I was excited about a project I never completed. Let’s rather say I just haven’t completed it yet.
But I haven’t forgotten, or gotten over my interest in this incredible painting of Mademoiselle Guimard, by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1790:
|Mademoiselle Guimard by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1790|
A year ago I started and failed at this costume. I had deconstructed my blue Lacma Sacque-ma to use the silk for Guimard’s robe, but alas it was not to be. Way back when I dyed the silk brocade, weird things happened, and the fabric took on a strange life of its own that made it really hard to work with. I was also too
excited hasty and cut it all stupid and it just didn’t work out.
A year later, Guimard has come back to me. I’ve been thinking about what to make for the Costume College gala this year. Last year my dress was huge and sparkly, so it’s difficult to not feel pressured (self-pressure) to somehow top that this year. I know that’s nonsense, but the gala is that one big event of the year to really hammer down on a fantabulous costume. In thinking about this, the bright colors and many layers and textures of Guimard’s costume came to mind.
I also have quite a lot of the fabrics still waiting patiently. Here’s my sketch:
I’ve broken down the costume into three main piece:
1. The puffy poof pants. We can’t see what Guimard is wearing in the painting, but this fashion plate of a very similar costume shows harem pants. Mine will be bright coral pink and enormously poofy.
|More about The Orphan of China and The Sultana – click through|
2. The gown. I will make this as a garment all its own, most like a Robe a l’Anglaise, but since this is a theatrical costume, I plan to make the skirt short and one side split, so I can pull it up the way Guimard has done in the portrait.
3. The robe. Blue silk lined in green silk, trimmed on the edges with brown faux fur. This will be constructed like an open robe or polonaise, cut all in one at the back with stacked box pleats and a train.
Accessories – a wide silk sash and red belt; turban; some really interesting shoes (of course!)
So that’s the plan! This time I’m starting with the poofy pants and working my way out. The most challenging piece will again be the robe, but I have a much better plan, more skill, and non-weird-grain fabric to work with. I’m excited!