Thursday, 1 October 2009

Becoming Jane...

Ah, my University clothes....







Heh, not really. The local theatre that I do voluntary work for had a promotional event where they wanted to really push the costume hire - so I became their 'rent -a-Jane Austen' for the day. The theme was 'Inspirational Women Throughout History', so I was really quite flattered when they asked me to do it! If only they'd have let me keep the dress....

*sigh* I fell in love with that dress. It was a lovely pretty brown printed cotton with flowers and very comfortable - compared to the crinolines and heels other luckless 'Inspirational Women' were wearing! I think they were pretty lucky I didn't end up hunched in a corner stroking the dress and hissing 'Preciousssss!' at anyone who tried to take it away from me...

I was less keen on the bonnet. It was a last minute addition, and I felt like a horse with blinkers on in it. Bonnets cut off your eyeline so you can only look straight ahead - glancing sideways is almost impossible in them!


I had a few pictures of the event, so I thought I'd show you something of it...


Can you guess who's who? We're an odd assortment. Amongst my fellow lovely volunteers are Kylie, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Coco Chanel, Emmeline Pankhurst, Queen Elizabeth I, and Marie Antoinette. Elizabeth I was a Blackadder fan, so we spent all evening swapping quotes. Teehee, meeting fellow nerds is always fun! She was managed to groove at the disco afterwards despite being trapped in a Tudor gown, proving that she had the heart and stomach of a disco babe inside that weak and feeble body of hers...



Marie Antoinette's wig was amazing. I was very envious - until I found out professional wigs are made up of yak hair, and then I kinda went off the idea....

This is Marie Antoinette. Isn't she gorgeous? Her costume was from She Stoops To Conquer. Luda, my Polish boss at the Royal Exchange, tells me the fabric ALONE for the dress cost £800 - so I was very glad I didn't have to wear it in case I spilt coffee down it!



This is me walking around the Lady's Evening floor. We were in a hotel just a little way out of Manchester, and they ran a craft fair showcasing women in business on their own. We were part of that, and we all had to walk slowly around the floor - oddly enough, to the tune of Bella's Lullaby from the Twilight soundtrack! It was very odd to do that dressed as Jane Austen... I felt a bit smug recognising it. Elizabeth I was a Twilight fan, so she had a 'fangirl' moment when we heard it played. You can just about see the make-up stand at the back where we had our hair and make-up done! I'm not sure whether we actually gained many more customers from this event than we would have done in the normal run of things, though. We're a pretty locally known business in the UK, and we don't get much exposure being the North (all the best costume places are in the South, dammit! Damn you London, with your huge stage wardrobes... *shakes fist*) But we had a huge amount of fun while we were there all the same, and the ladies running the stalls were very admiring and appreciative, which made us all feel great. One lady even asked for a picture with me and Queenie! (my nickname for her by the end of the night - her nickname for me was 'Janey')

All in all, it was a fun night! Hmm, now if only I can persuade my medieval literature department to have an 'inspirational women from history' party.... could an Eleanor of Aquitaine costume be coming my way? Or even a Sybilla? Hmm, hold your breath, Helen!

1 comment:

Mercury Gray said...

JEALOUS! So very, very jealous. I wish I had pictures of my 1830s museum getup to share. Although I am playing the "What Part of Middle Earth are we in now?" game with this Ireland trip, so I guess I can't complain too much.

I think I'm going to book my train tickets up to manchester in the next several days, so you may be getting a PM from me soon.