The face of the Jane Austen Centre 2013
Our staff enjoy the process. We get in a professional photographer and spend quite a bit of time getting the look just right.
Elle is wearing her guide costume plus a bonnet made from velvet. She is accessorised with a lace fan, lace gloves and a string of pearls. Normally our guides don’t use these accessories but we all now feel that they should! We will invest in a few more important items for everyone to wear.
You might remember seeing other members of staff in the same role. 2 years ago it was Becca our Online Giftshop manager, last year it was Jennie the Centre Manager and this year it’s Elle one of our guides. She looks great don’t you think?
Photo by Owen Benson
Colours in Regency Fashion
Colours are always integral to fashion and the names given to the new shades of the season as imaginative as they are confusing. Where trend gurus of 2006 push aubergine, petrol, raspberry, mustard, and moss on us; their counterparts of two centuries ago were not slow in urging its female readership to wear coquelicot, canary, pomona, jonquil or puce. But what did the colours really look like?
While ivory, rose, peach and lavender are quite easy to figure out, others are more obscure. Many colours were named after plants; roses being rosy red and lavender a delicate pale greyish purple. Slate, a dark grey reminiscent of paving stones, was popular for riding and walking dresses, while light purples, such as violet or lilac, adorned many a modest maiden. In Jane Austen’s time dyes were expensive, pigments made of natural substances and the resulting hues rather muted compared to our modern artificial dyes, hence even a bright yellow would not be as bright as we would imagine. Few pigments were colourfast; many faded in the sunlight or ran in the wash.