Archive for September, 2007
In future I’ll hold this under the nose of everybody who asks me why on earth I’m doing what I’m doing and what about canon and why does it have to be slash and it wasn’t like that in the movies and so on, and so forth…
And while we’re at it – what would be the correct spelling? (I’m still at war with the “-“)
Thanks a lot for your help!
There’s no point denying it anymore: I have developed a very small, actually barely noticeable
crush on Jack Davenport fetish for naval uniforms of the 18th and 19th century.
It’s not just the way the uniforms look like; it’s the historic background and the craftmanship – these items are artworks. In general I don’t make a difference between artworks created with a brush, keyboard, tattoo needle or sewing machine. It’s not the tool that defines art, but that’s a discussion for my other LJ.
has introduced me to the following, aptly-named book:
This book is an absolute “must have” for anybody with even the remotest interest in the RN or fashion of that time. The fantastic pictures aside, there is a lot of interesting background information on the way fashion influenced society, how rank and status were expressed by means of clothing etc., and how wearing the right coat at the right time could make a career (and the wrong one break it).
Historic photographs and caricatures document how fashion’s madness began to influence the uniforms, and especially the “young gentlemen”, the Midshipmen, seemed to have been prone to fall for fashion follies (“Middies in Corsets” would be a great sequel to “Men in Thighs”). This is not only about officers, though; also the change of the dressing code among the normal seaman is documented.
“Dressed to Kill” is a fascinating, well-written book, and for those of you who admire the uniforms for their elegance, it’s nothing short of “fabric porn”. The author, who is Curator of Decorative Arts and Material Culture at the National Maritime Museum, London, has done a wonderful job here.
Yes, I admit, seeing all those dress coats and waistcoats and breeches I simply ignore the fact that uniforms and those wearing them very likely smelled like “wet, rancid sheep”, as a good friend of mine so eloquently put it. And let me not start on the cravats…
Amazon is currently selling this book for only £ 13.20 – reduced price, so really, if you want to spoil yourself, this would be money well-invested.
MIDSHIPMAN IN 1783 COMPARED TO A DANDY-MIDDIE IN 1823
Corset. That’s all I say. Free the Middie, cut the cords!
DETAIL ON WAISTCOAT OF CAPTAIN WITH THREE YEARS SENIORITY (1748?)
Rancid sheep or not: this looks like something I’d really, really like to unbutton. Sue me, Dorothy!
DRESS COAT, CAPTAIN WITH OVER THREE YEARS’ SENIORITY (1787?)
LIEUTENANT’S TROUSERS (heh!)
I could say a lot about this one, but I won’t. Minors could be reading this…
WAISTCOAT OF THE HONOURABLE EAST INDIA COMPANY
And Lord Cutler Beckett is still looking for his waistcoat…
Now this one – this one is my favourite. Some people thought it was a bit of a sacrilege when I wrote “Ambarussa”, the Silmarillion/RNotC crossover, with Gillette as one of the sons of Fëanor. If you have a look at this, you’ll see that the concept of Gillette being Amras wasn’t that far-fetched…
LOOK! THE LIEUTENANT IS WEARING LEGOLAS’ COAT!
This is a boat-coat, protecting the lieutenant against rough weather. It’s designed to be so long to cover the shoes and protect the stockings. It’s simply awesome. I’m in love with this cloak.
Image-heavy, but worth it. And the cherry on the top? There are *patterns* in the back of the book! We’re not talking “Simplicity: lieutenant’s uniform made easy” here, but the sewing-savvy among you should find the patterns very useful.
Highly recommended – I’m in love with it!
If you want to copy any of the clothes in the book, the patterns might not be for you unlike you’re a really experienced seamstress. However, has pointed out this book, The Cut of Men’s Clothes: 1600-1900 by Nora Waugh, which really looks fantastic. 🙂