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If you are in the vicinity of Hampstead next weekend, you might like to try turning you hand to making a Regency reticule or even a pocket. There will be a Regency Sewing Workshop at the Keat’s House Musuem, below, which was the home of the poet, John Keats from 1818 to 1820, and was, of course, the place where he met the love of his life, Fanny Brawne who was quite literally the girl next door.

Keats’ House,Hampstead © Copyright ceridwen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The workshop runs for one day and you can find all the details here. Who knows, you might end up with an elegant item such as this one, below, “owned” by Elinor Dashwood (played by Emma Thompson) in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensbility.

Elinor Dashwood’s reticule, as used by Emma Thompson in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility ©JaneAusten’sHouseMuseumBlog

If you’d rather make a Regency style dress, then there is a four day workshop at the Museum, commencing on the 7th July, which will help you make a delightful confection, perhaps something like this ball gown which was worn by Charity Wakefield (no relation!) as Marianne Dashwood in the BBC’s 2006 version of Sense and Sensbility. Go here to find all the details of the course.

Marianne’s Ball Gown from the BBC’s 2006 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility @JaneAusten’sHouseMusuemBlog

Sadly the workshop where you could have made a Regency Bonnet, like the one  below, worn by Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) to her sister Marianne’s wedding in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility

Elinor Dashwood’s Bonnet as worn by Emma Thompson in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility ©JaneAusten’sHouseMuseumBlog

has already taken place,  last weekend. But if you’d like to see more photographs of the Sense and Sensibility costumes which were on show at the Jane Austen House Museum last year to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Sense and Sensibility, then click here to see the hat and the reticule, and click here for the ball gown.

You might also be interested to see this ensemble, which was also on show, and which was worn by both Charity Wakefield and KAte Winslet, in both adaptations of the book.

The ensemble worn by both Kate Winslet and Charity Wakefield in their adaptations of Sense and Sensibility ©JaneAustenHouseMuseumBlog

Click here to see more photographs of it.

During my holiday  a few items related to Jane Austen and Fashion have been brought to my attention, and I thought you might like to share them. Here goes…

First , Andrea Galer continues to sell some of her Austen adaptation costumes from her very stylish site, which is now linked from Austen only in the links section to the left of this page. Currently on sale ( in addition to Matthew MacFaddeyns waistcoat from the BBC adaptation of Trollope’s novel, The Way We Live Now) is this Spencer which was worn by Rosamund Stephen in ITVs adaption of Persuasion (2007). She played Henrietta Musgrove in the film.

Also for sale is this outfit worn by the marvellous Oliva Williams who portrayed Jane Austen in the BBC’s bio of Jane Austen’s last few months in Miss Austen Regrets.

The outfit consists of the dress, blouse and spencer, all which were worn in the programme. Now wearing that outfit would certainly be a talking point at the next Bath Festival Promenade, don’t you think?

Next, Winchester Fashion Week is fast approaching, and they have a new blog  to keep everyone informed of events and developments. Jane Austen had, of course, many associations with Winchester, and the blog has a new post which discusses her links with the city and  her interest in fashion.

If you go here you can read this interesting article written by Alys Key “Sense, Sensibility and Style:Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen. This post includes an interview with Louise West, the Curator of the Jane Austen House Museum. I think you will all find it a fascinating read.

If you are lucky enough to  be in the Lakes this half term week, you have the opportunity to see an exhibition of some of the most interesting costumes from recent costume drama films.The Reghed Centre near Penrith in Cumbria is hosting the Dressing the Stars exhibit, of award-winning British film costumes. Included in the exhibition are costumes worn by some Jane Austen related stars. On show will be Colin Firth’s uniform which he wore as George VI in The King’s Speech , and the wedding dress and wedding suit worn by Keria Knightley and Ralph Fines in The Duchess, in which they portrayed the 5th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The most important news for us is that the wedding dress and uniform worn by Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet in Ang Lee’s version of Sense and Sensibility will also be on show, once again.

You will recall that I had the good luck to see these magnificent costumes last year at the Austen Attired exhibit of CostProp costumes from Austen adaptations at the National Trust’s magnificent Peckover House in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

I confess was stunned by the exquisite workmanship in the very detailed costume worn by Kate Winslet, as Marianne Dashwood:

This was made all the more astounding as the costume appeared only fleetingly on the screen. The embroidery and straw-work on the coat was simply sublime and the imagery evoked by the use of straw had previously been undetected by me.

Alam Rickman’s regimentals, worn s he portrayed Colonel Brandon, were also lovely-and I really coveted his citrine fob…A full account of the exhibit, and a detailed look at these costumes (and many others from other adaptations!) can found here.  The Dressing the Stars exhibition is in its last week of being open to the public: it ends on the 30th October, so I do hope that if you are in the area of the Reghed Centre you will take this opportunity to go and see these amazing costumes.

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