Last weekend, I went to the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, This is my fourth visit and my second experience dressing up in Regency wear. My friends and I work all year to make outfits to wear. For fans of Regency fashion and just historical costume in general, this is always a visual feast.
This year, it was unbearably hot as it was last year as well (93 degrees and sweltering humidity to be exact). Several of us almost fainted. There are people who will try to convince you that the clothing of that time is actually cool as it “wicks away from the body”. Don’t know about that. I do know that Jane Austen and company were wearing the same clothing in England, where it was most likely 30 degrees cooler.
Each year the Jane Austen festival grows. This year was the best so far. The tea was upgraded and it was just fabulous. Bingley Teas were served, which include teas named after Jane Austen characters. I sampled “Marianne’s Wild Abandon”, which quickly sold out. The scones were especially nice. We visited a Regency Ball, which was fun. The dancing is great exercise.
I must admit that I am not fond of Regency bonnets in general, perhaps because I feel I look silly in them. However I did trim one this year, with help from my friend Natalie. She found some wonderful purple silk which was just the thing the bonnet needed. We had an enjoyable sewing night at the hat studio, working on our respective headpieces, going until past 10:00 p.m.
I wanted to do a turban for the ball, but was so hot in my outfit that I decided to wear modern clothes in the quest for being somewhat cooler. Next year, I would like to make a dress similar to the green one, pictured below. This dress was lovely.