Sometimes I forgo my principles. Like this week when I bought ready made clothes. (Yes, why make life complicated, you might think!) It all started when the costume department at the Royal Opera in Stockholm announced a sale of a large number of costumes, in fact the largest ever. It was everywhere in the morning shows and the papers, which meant that uncountable costumiers, reenactors, bloggers, theatre enthusiasts and others would try their luck. So did I, hoping to find a decent hat and perhaps a waistcoat. I left for an early lunch break and joined the crowds. The grand foyer was filled with row upon row of garments hanging on tidily labelled racks. I spotted all sorts of clothes from magnificent Renaissance costumes to ordinary t-shirts and chinos. It was a bonus to meet several friends and acquaintances, and we compared our lucky finds.
So what did I find? Well, no hat, anyway. (Most of them were impossible modern caps or flowery “Edwardian” things from the 1960’s.)
I did find a terrific black wool coat that could be everything from 18th century to late Victorian (depending on styling). (It was actually designed in 2009 for a modern/fantasy/half-period version of Verdi’s opera Macbeth.) I have not decided what to do with it. It might not even enter the Regency wardrobe. But in excellent condition and only £19!
What I most definitely will be using with Regency attire is a lovely cream coloured waistcoat in uncut velvet and silk moire with gilt buttons. The label reveals it was designed in the 1980’s for a ballet production of the classic Swedish novel, Gösta Berling’s Saga. The story is set in a country house in the 1820’s. (Trivia: The book was filmed in 1924 with a young Greta Garbo, just before she left for Hollywood.) It shows signs of wear an needs cleaning but still worth more than the £5 I paid!
I was lucky in the shoe department as well! Three (3!) pairs of vintage leather opera pumps/court shoes in my size for less than what I pay for cake and a pot of tea! A shopping spree of fenomenal dimensions (for being me)!