Shopping at the Royal Opera

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.

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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!

The coat

The Macbeth coat

 

The coat: back

The  Macbeth coat: back

Trying the coat

Trying the coat

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!

Posing in the waistcoat. Ignore the shirt in all its pinkishness and everything else that is going on.

Posing in the waistcoat. Ignore the shirt in all its pinkishness and everything else that is going on in this photo.

On the hanger...

On the hanger…

Back view of the waistcoat. Notice well made strap.

Back view of the waistcoat. Notice well made strap.

Closeup of the lovely buttons

Closeup of the lovely buttons.

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)!

Shoes!

Shoes!

Opera pumps. The finest of the three.

Opera pumps. The finest of the three, but also the most worn.

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Labelled “Lavorazione Artigiana” (hand made) on the leather sole.

Opera pumps 2. The newest pair.

Opera pumps # 2. The newest pair. Might sell them.

 

Pair 3. Seems to be the oldest pair. No bow, and really not opera pumps but have a Regency feel to them.

Pair # 3. Seems to be the oldest pair. No bow, and really not opera pumps but have a Regency feel to them. Do you agree?

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5 thoughts on “Shopping at the Royal Opera

  1. I would not think of selling Pair #2 unless they do not fit comfortably. Smashing shoe collection!!! Yes, definitely a Regency look to them! I am impressed that you found such great things at such prices. The coat especially good and as you are Mr. Elton you might consider using it as clerical attire. Just add banns (?) I think that is what they are called. Congratulations on a first-rate shopping trip. (What luck!)

    • Thank you! And you are right! Never occured to me that the coat is perfect for a clergyman. I guess Mr. Eltons calling isn´t all that strong 🙂 It´s lunacy to stuff my tiny closet with a pile of Regency shoes. (There´s already riding boots and ordinary 21st c shoes in there.) That´s why I could consider selling one pair to someone less fortunate…

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