Picture Of the Week – 3. French Court Lady


I found this picture on the internet on a blog, but i loved it and had to post it. I really love the light blue silk, its so innocent, like a bridal gown? I’m guessing from the style of her hair that she’s a french lady and from the elaborate embroidery on her dress, which also adds to the richness of the light blue silk and highlights her status as a courtier?


Birthday Escape

I’ve been super lazy this last week, which i am going to blame on my birthday because birthdays are mean’t to be relaxing which is why i decided to go to Cotehele, a National Trust property on the border of Cornwall and Devon, while the place was amazing the car journey was awful and i got lost several times and needed about a week to get other that (i have NO navigational skills whatsoever). The place was beautiful, kinda like Trerice.. but not lol.

I even managed to get a bit of costume history in there as well.

The National Trust Collection

I have discovered, gratefully from The Costume Society of America, that The National Trust, here in England has put their entire collection online. I use to work at a national trust property called Trerice, i absolutely loved it there and made a little shriek when i heard this news because i had a few favorite items among their collection and when i volunteered there you couldn’t take photo’s in the house. I though i would share some with you all, their collection is here.

I remember this painting being put back, if you look carefully to the left you can see the wood that it was painted on is curved, they made a special box frame so the wood could bend back in its own time. The restorers also didn’t do a very good job (or perhaps it wasn’t them ?!?!) because on the lady’s right, her shoulder has been painted away and it’s shorter than her left, its not very visible here, you need to see it up close. Originally they had believed (or hoped) that this was a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, but it turned out to rich, English country lady.

I was also there when this painting came back, it had been living somewhere else in the country and was dirty, after restoration when it came back it was quite important to Trerice because this boy grew up to be the last Baron (i think) to live at Trerice, he died unmarried and quite young and i believe the house past through cousins. I believe this is the only portrait of one of the Arundell’s that Trerice had that lived at the house (again i may well be wrong, i stopped volunteering about 2010, i think).

This portrait of Charles I always use to give me the creeps.

They have several John Opie portraits there, which is lovely as he is a famous Cornish artist.

One day, when i was in this room (the great chamber) i was sat on the window sill watching the visitors and a child ran and jumped on this beautiful 17th century sofa, i think a part of me died inside and my mortification must have been very obvious as the child’s father quickly grabbed him and left.

Beautiful pieces of stumpwork from around the mid 1600’s.

Miss Virginia Lachasse


I first spotted her in the V & A’s Golden Age of Couture book that accompanies the exhibition. I visited the V & A at this time but sadly  i didn’t go in and see it; I absolutely love all her little clothes, they are all perfect little miniatures of real garments created by the big fashion houses of the day.

I did a little more research on the fashion dolls i posted a while ago on inspiration and found that they belonged to this little travelling group who go round the world exhibiting different styles of high fashion.

As well as doing replica’s of fashion’s from history they also recreate the fashion of the day, they recreate everything down to the tiny shoes!

Picture of the week – 1. Princess Elizabeth

I’m thinking i might start a ‘picture of the week’ or something similar because i am always finding new pictures and portraits with really beautiful costumes in them. So, here’s my first one, Princess Elizabeth of England, the daughter of King James Ist in 1613, probably just after she married her husband Frederick of Palatinate. All of Elizabeth’s dresses in her early years seem to have an organic embroidery pattern or theme to them?