"Beer and skittles"* the Victorian way

*"Beer and skittles" meant "good times" back in the victorian era ;)

Ever since I had been in UK I aways had a little wish to try on one of these luxurious victorian costumes, even if just for a moment, even if just for laughs. I just didn't know how and when I'd get to do that. This is one of those dreams coming true, or two rather since this is also my first step to acting, a long awaited wish… But Dash my wig! The sweet opportunity came knocking on my door by itself in the form of a short Uni film production and I was like, "Heck yeah!"

Here is a little shoot at the Southampton Guildhall and the Southampton park in a full victorian costume and a pretty hat.

This is one of my favourites, picture perfect with the old fashioned Guildhall in the backdrop. It was edited to look all grainy and given the custom museum matte border to complete the vintage look.

The dress was also "afternoonified" with a lovely floral ringed straw hat to complete the costume.

The dress was a two piece made with a peach satin petticoat as the bottom, and a green brocade coat with green and peach bodice as the top. Together it was rather on the heavy side and quite thick too, thank god for the british weather and the ominous looming clouds for once XD. However, it wasn't a very easy dress to put on or take off. The bodice required to be tied down (with the assistance of at least one more person) all the way from the top (chest) till the bottom end of the corset (around the waist) very firmly so that the it did not slip under all that weight. And all this after the dress had been much simplified from it's original 1800s version… I can only imagine and sympathise with the labour the ladies went through back in the days. Huff! The men sure always got it easy…

Here is the beautiful costume in its natural glory… The beautiful green brocade with little flowers and the lovely soft peach satin were so at harmony with each other, I just felt like a princess in it. Love how it flares out when I sit.

We shot couple of scenes in the Guildhall and some outside in a park just by the Guildhall. Needless to say, we did receive a lot of funny looks from passer-bys and even got couple of unwanted attention from "tot-hunting" hobos, but I truly loved every bit I was in them… After all, how often do you get to relive the gilded age? 

We were altogether three damsels who had to play a little role in the short (silent) film as patronesses. The other two ladies looked very elegant and enchanting, perfect "bit o' jams" in their pretty laced dresses, assorted mink fur, feathered hats and little parasol. However, it is indeed true that now a days these dress materials are rather fit for curtains. As one of my co-stars said right before we changed into our costumes, "let's put on our curtains." Lol! Nevertheless, it was quite a different experience and a lot of fun too.

Don't we look classy?!

I really wish more such offers come my way. Am eagerly keeping a look out ever more zealously for them now that I know how much fun it is and how special it feels :)

Here's to another dream successfully fulfilled… With that, here are some funny victorian slangs you can use to pump up a conversation ;)

With loads of love,

Photo credit: David Minac