Lily of the Valley gown

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Dickens Reunion ball- ballgown revamp

I had a lovely time in my revamped blue frock with additional waist belt. I also used my new fan by Lynn Mcmasters in a coordinating blue shade throughout Dickens fair as well as the Twelfth night ball:

Here is a lovely image from the event by Erin Doverosey:

Gluttony-

My wonderful ugly pig mask by Mitchell Walker featured in my 18th century seven deadly sins outfit focusing on Gluttony! I sure had fun eating during the photoshoot! I’ll slowly start adding up photos from the last year as I’ve managed to not blog much at all. If you want to keep up to date Instagram is the only social media I use daily: LTLaurieTavan


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Visiting American Duchess

We managed to get over fabric shopping! Lining fabric was purchased for my new sacque gown and Lauren grabbed some pretty stripes for her new sacque gown.

2017 Dickens Fair Royals Day


Photograph: Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland copyright Philip Pavliger

This year for Royals day I planned to deck out the Queen more than ever before. As director again this year, I put out Jessica as our full time Queen and she lived up to the role so well! I’m so proud of her portrayal and how she carries off the costuming perfectly. This year I put her in my hoop which is a bit larger in circumference as well as had her wear flat shoes. This brought her visually further into the realm of Victoria’s 4’11” height. With the new crown based on King George IV State Diadem by Juliette designs, a husband and wife team who specialize in reproducing historical jewels and regalia, she really shined for the day. For Royals day we added a red cape with ermine. The ermine is rabbit fur in which I hand cut and sewed black fur into “tails” and the red cape believe it or not is just my red velvet skirt folded in half as a quick already hemmed piece of fabric! This will be the only time we are sending out the Queen in more full regalia. It didn’t work overall for Dickens fair but it was quite a stunning look that pulled attention straight to the Queen. Jessica also featured her new ornate necklace custom designed by Dames a la mode.

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Penny Black


Photo courtesy of and copyright Philip Pavliger

The King George IV State Diadem is the newest reproduction crown in our arsenal for Dickens fair Royals:

“The diadem was worn during the coronation procession of Queen Victoria and later Queen Elizabeth II. It is worn by Queen Elizabeth II when travelling to and from the State Opening of Parliament. The diadem, as worn by Queen Victoria (without the cap), appears on the penny black and all her subsequent stamps. The diadem is perfectly circular” As described at Royal Exhibition’s website.

“In order to get each crystal gemstone set in just the right way, Juliette Designs is lucky to be in possession of a very rare book (number 227 out of 500) on The Crown Jewels, published by The Stationary Office. This book closely details the construction and materials of each piece as if they were technical schematics.”- from this article about the jewelry company.

A Dark Depth- Second Make-over look

Corset: Laurie Tavan
Photography & MUA: Iberian Black Arts

Gala Nocturna Photo competition Entry- Help share & like :)

Then and Now

Back in 2015 we shot this corset the first time. I felt that while it was very historical in nature and worked for my Christmas theme, it didn’t feel finished.
Here it the Snow Flower shoot:

Fast forward two years later when I went bananas buying antique lace at the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale. I had just fractured my 5th metatarsal shortly beforehand and was just starting to use crutches more to get out of bed. If you have been wondering why I was pretty quiet the first half of this year, I spent 6 months in casts, air casts, and finally physical therapy. The physical therapy continues as the soft tissue damage on the ankle persists, they say at least a year to recovery.

Anyhow, I needed to find more hand sewing to keep my busy as it took quite a while to learn to sew as accurately with my left foot. No driving, no sewing… all this took a big toll on me. But I kept working on finding the final elements to finish this corset. I added a bit of cream silk flossing first but wanted something to anchor the shaping of the hips and the detailed seaming on the corset which was lost when it was left all red.

I went to the yearly lace sale, on crutches, and found the perfect remnant of lace! It wasn’t until my grandfather died that I knew how to finally finish her. Here is the Ex Voto corset inspired by my grandfather’s fight against cancer. In the winter of 2015 I flew out last minute to see my grandfather who was given a few weeks to live, but he didn’t die then. Growing up Catholic with religious grandparents I prayed for his survival. Even though I had lost my faith long ago, I still consider myself a spiritual person and find solace that he lived 2 years!

I purchased this 1930s Ex voto in memoriam of my grandfather. It is the representation of the miracle of how he fought for his life, his devotion to the church his wife so much adored, and his devotion to raising us kids when my mom needed him. I miss you Grandpa.

Ex Voto Corset
Photographer: Iberian Black Arts
Model: Threnody in Velvet
Corset, garters, and knickers: Laurie Tavan
Headdress: Creations by Liv

Playing Dress up

Trying on one of Gerry’s corsets at the Oxford Conference of Corsetry- Morua Designs