Collection: The Regency Wardrobe
Garment: Woman’s pelisse and skirt
Materials: FSC accredited paper tablecloth, tissue paper, rice paper,
This outfit is one of three ‘walking dresses’ in The Regency Wardrobe collection, each created from white paper. As a group they are inspired by the act of promenading, especially as it might be imagined to have taken place along the seafront at Brighton - which in the late 1820’s ended at Brunswick square and was surrounded by countryside - or otherwise beneath the leaves of trees on a country estate such as nearby Firle Place.
Each of these three outfits is inspired by the light and shadows of outside places and by the popularity of whitework (white embroidery on white fabric) during the Regency. There are aspects of the design of each that only show up in the dark when they are lit from beneath.
Delicate is inspired in particular by a white cotton pelisse with scalloped edging, decorated with embroidered Cornucopia (dated 1810-1818), part of The Olive Matthews collection, at Chertsey Museum. Also by an Ackerman’s costume plate of a similar walking dress from 1819. Ears of wheat are embroidered down the front of Delicate, like Cornucopia they were a popular motif at this time.
Beautiful filigree metal work features regularly on Regency buttons and fashion accessories and the design of the belt buckle of this piece pays tribute to that craftsmanship.
*Please note: Part of the concept of The Regency Wardrobe is that the colour of many of the pieces may change over time. This is to reflect:
- research done by The House of Embroidered Paper into Regency era garments and the observation that the colures of their surfaces have faded overtime (as evidenced by looking under seams and inside material crevices).
- how historical events and people fade in the collective memory
- how the power and prestige of civilizations and empires fades overtime.
- how the surfaces of most items we find left to us from history have faded.
The white of this piece risks changing or becoming marked by age over-time, just as we all do.