court costume


A new challenger appears!? Concept sketches of Prince Somnus, still figuring out his design though


Costume worn by Queen Victoria to a ball inspired by ‘The Court of King Charles II’ on the 31st July 1851, with Victoria records in her diary -

‘… My costume was of grey moiré antique, ornamented with gold lace, - a very long waist & sleeves trimmed with old lace. The petticoat showing under the dress which was all open in front, was of rich gold and silver brocade (Indian manufacture) richly trimmed with silver lace… In my hair I wore an arrangement of pearls. The shoes and gloves were embroidered to match the dress.’

1851 drawing of Victoria in her costume, with Albert in his costume made for the ball. I love this drawing because it really gives you an idea of how short Victoria was!


A fine couture bridal gown and train, probably Madame Handley-Seymour (court dressmaker), 1937

Un-labelled, of bias cut oyster slipper-satin, with overdress of embroidered ivory lace further adorned with silver bugle beads and ‘seed pearls’, the draped sleeves open at the shoulders, with matching belt and similarly adorned train.


Black is the colour.

Black is my favourite colour and I had never made a post about it in the blog (shame on me!). One of the most expensive colours to accomplish back in the day (several dyes were required and done wrong could damage the fabric) and THE go colour for the Spanish court.

In taffeta, velvet or wool, black is an always YES colour for the mid to upper classes, of course also for court, since the colour itself was pretty enough to send a message (you know, the always old message “I can afford it” is always on fashion).

Images from top:

  1. Jamie Dornan and Kirsten Dunst as Count Axel Fersen and Marie Antoinette in “Marie Antoinette”, 2006, Director Sofia Coppola, Costume Design Milena Canonero.
  2. “Susanna Highmore”, ca. 1740-1745, Joseph Highmore.
  3. Black Brunswick, 2014, by Maija the seamstress.
  4. Black silk suit, mid 18th century, Great Britain, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  5. “Mr and Mrs William Hallett (“The Morning Walk”)”, 1785, Thomas Gainsborough.
  6. “Miss Mary Hickey”, 1770, Sir Joshua Reynolds.
  7. Mourning dress, 1781, Cahier des Costumes Français.
  8. “Charlotte, Lady Milnes”, 1788-92, George Romney.
  9. Man’s embroidered silk velvet court suit, probably English, about 1790-1810, Sudley House, Liverpool.
  10. Masquerade outfit, 2013, by Merja Palkivaara.

I wore my High Lady gown to meet Queen Maas at the Rochester Teen Book Festival recently and it was a grand time! I loved getting to meet so many other SJM fans in one place. She was absolutely lovely and told me I’m perfect, so, life is pretty good.

Also, if thrown into an ancient Roman gladiatorial battle, she would “just die because I’d be ogling the gladiators and their rippling muscles.”


Andrew Minyard | IG
Photography | IG

Character, All for the Game © Nora Sakavic


A Reville Ltd of Paris couture court dress and train, circa 1928, 

Labelled Reville Ltd, and with inscribed ribbon label ‘Lady Holcroft’, the extensively beaded flapper-style dress in black and white seed beads with clear droplet beads, the bodice and waist defined by rhinestone studded bands, the matching train in dramatic black and white with foliate bands, edged in black velvet; together with court presentation plumes and veils and an ostrich feather fan (qty) This dress was worn by Lady Annie Holcroft at the Presentation Court of 9th May 1928.

How… hard do you think it is to avoid touching people when you’re in using the showers?

It’s not difficult, honest.