Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Holiday At The Villa; Empress Elisabeth In Velvet And Mink

My reproduction of Empress Elisabeth of Austria's velvet and mink ensemble is complete, and now I have some glorious photos to share. I had also just gotten over the flu, so it was nice to get outside for some fresh air and a walk.
My friend, Anders was generous enough to take the photos at a favorite location. Villa Montalvo is practically in my backyard.
It's stunningly beautiful and not only reminds me of some of the smaller summer palaces in Austria, but even a few villas located in the more southern areas of Europe. Places Sisi may have often escaped to on her many travels.
This creation is by no means perfect, and there are some things that I would have fixed if I'd had the time. Here are a few notes on the costume for the nit-pickers like myself:

- Yes, the skirt isn't as long, wide or voluminous as Sisi's was in the original photographs. This costume was intended to be, and was, worn for a role played at Dickens Fair. It needed to be a true walking style skirt, and hoops were required to be under a maximum circumference of 110 inches. No more. And no elliptical hoops were allowed either, so I was forced to make this skirt a more 1850s shape
- Indeed, I'm not wearing gloves. Neither was Sisi in the photos and even though I'm outside, I'm not sure Sisi would have cared much either ;-)
- The hat is a bit different than hers. I decided that since I did not have the time or the materials to create an exact replica of the one she wears in the photos, this other historically accurate version would do. It's also a style I think she would have appreciated, wit the cute little mink pom-poms in back.
- I'm glad we did the shoot when we did, since the deep chestnut color I put on my tresses is already fading quite rapidly. It's now officially a dark blonde, yet closer to what Sisi's color was like. While my own hair has gotten quite long, it's nowhere near as long as hers was. So, the braids you see are actually hairpieces I added to my own. These are a much lighter shade than the darker ones I wore for Dickens. I knew my color would fade quickly since it's a semi permanent. By chance, these ended up a surprisingly good color match.

I will be breaking this up into two entries, as there are a lot of images. There are just so many pretty areas to shoot in at this location, and the late-day light was beautiful.
Without further ado, and a happy Christmas to you: the photos.


Part II coming soon!


  1. Beautiful work! You look really lovely!

  2. Goodness, this is gorgeous! I have serious fur envy. You did a marvelous job. I especially like the bottom photo with your frogs buttoning over the fur. Have a fantastic New Year. :-)

    1. Thank you, Kelly. Happy New Year to you as well! xoxo

  3. My giddy Aunt!! You have captured Empress Sisi perfectly!! Your gown is divine and your hat? Fabulous! I especially love your huge braid...Sisi to a tee!!! What fun to see these pictures!



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