shantung silk

Marian Anderson Sings at the Lincoln Memorial

Photo: American contralto Marian Anderson performs in front of 75,000 spectators in Potomac Park. Finnish accompanist Kosti Vehanen is on the piano.

“She carried herself in the way she wanted to be seen.“ - Dwandalyn Reece, Curator of Music and Performing Arts, NMAAHC 

Marian Anderson was the first African American soloist to sing at the New York Metropolitan Opera on January 7, 1955. During her long career, Anderson broke many barriers as an African American opera singer, and was often denied performance venues due to racial segregation during the mid-twentieth century. #OnThisDay in 1939, Anderson famously sung on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a crowd of over 75,000 people, when she was denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall.

Photo: Shantung silk jacket (redesigned in 1993) and black velvet skirt worn by Marian Anderson. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Ginette DePreist in memory of James DePreist.

Learn more about Anderson’s historic moment and the artifacts in our collection:  

The (Not So) Pallid Bust of Pavus

Part the Third: Let’s Get Him Dressed, Shall We?

Well, I realize I’ve finished him and posted some pictures and everything is all lovely and done… but I still really wanted to talk more about how I did it and a few things I learned. Maybe because it’ll be helpful for other people. Maybe because, deep down, I’m vain and attention-seeking. I’ll let you decide.

Without further ado, the process I used to clothe Dorian is below the cut. Fair warning, it is looooooooong.

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Emperor Hux/Kylo Amidala fic

Cross posted on AO3. Absolutely self indulgent filth. @cracktheglasses ‘s fault.


Amidala draws up the veil, sliding it back. It glides over Amidala’s black hair, sinking low, to the curve of his neck. Without it, nothing hides the asymmetry of his face. He is not beautiful. He is artless. With his dark eyes and long nose and pointy, askew chin. And his lewd, red mouth.

It twists now, lips moving, drawing back over a row of uneven teeth.

“Emperor,” Amidala says, voice over-enunciated, respectless. “Are you here to stare or fuck?”

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Simone D’Aillencourt with artwork passing in dress by Simonetta Fabiani, Rome. Vogue, April 20, 1960. Photo William Klein.

Simonetta’s youthful style held a special appeal, especially in the buoyant silk cocktail dresses, elegant debutante dresses, and ball gowns she created in the 1950s, with their emphasis on the bust. Her youthful sportswear included a two-part playsuit with cummerbund and bloomer shorts while her more grown up fashion was headed by a silk shantung dress-suit with tiered collar.


Here are some new fabrics I’ve recently added to my collection! 

I’ve mentioned it on wordpress, but i’ve sort of been in this sewing rut where i’m not very motivated or excited about my projects. This happens to me a couple times a year and it’s really frustrating. But I finally feel some enthusiasm towards sewing again and I have some fun things planned for these materials!

The top picture is satin faced chiffon and embroidered lace. These will be paired with taffeta and jacquard to make up an 1880′s evening dress. The middle fabrics are a floral satin (that was a dollar a yard) and silk dupioni, which will hopefully become an 18th century court gown. The final photo is a silk shantung with velvet flocking which will be paired with black micro velvet.

I also got some yellow taffeta for an1890′s dress, and a striped taffeta for another 18th century dress. And both of those will be based on dresses i’ve tried (and failed) to make before!

SPQR: Legion of Super-Heroes - 9

#Superhero AU [AO3] | First | <<Prev | Next>>

“No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

– NICO –

Nico stood under a crystal chandelier in one of the ballrooms of The Principia. He held a glass of red wine in one hand, and the other pinched the bridge of his nose as he tried to decide if there was an inconspicuous corner he could hide in.

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Kylo Amidala | Kylux fic

Cross-posted on AO3. This is utter filth and I blame it entirely on @ocktorok .

TW for drug use.


Hux stares at the expanse of Amidala’s bared back, birthmark-scattered, flesh framed by lace stitched with nephrite-pearls and more feathers, glinting oily in the twilight. Then Amidala faces Hux once more. His eyes seem almost black. They are wide, drinking in all luminescence. They make Amidala look young. Vulnerable. Disgust shivers through Hux. Amidala must’ve picked that up, that damned Force sensitivity, and Amidala stands. For a second Hux hopes Amidala will simply leave. He does not. Instead he pulls the curtains shut.

“I was watching,” Hux cuts in.

“I’ll give you something better to watch,” Amidala replies.

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Project Alida: The Beginning

Also known as Project OMG What Am I Thinking

So I don’t know if I’ve mentioned her before, but one of my favorite portraits of all time is the portrait of Alida Schouten by Jan Albertsz Rootius. 

There’s nothing particularly noteworthy or outstanding about this portrait, but for whatever reason it speaks to me. And since in my mind my portfolio needs a nice big project that will show off my skills, I’ve decided that I want to try my hand at recreating this dress. Part of this has been spurned on by the fact that I’m planning on taking an independent study this upcoming semester. Another part of me has thought about entering some costume competitions. The biggest part is that I really want a big project and this would be perfect! The 17th century is really overlooked and it would be trying my hand at something very different. Which has opened up a whole ‘nother can of worms.

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