Sunday, 22 February 2009

Circus and Couture

Oops, I haven't posted for ages because I've been out and about doing things! At the beginning of February, the Wolf and I went to Tasmania for four days of circus action at the Tasmanian Circus Festival. It is held every other year at Lone Star, Golconda, which is in the middle of the bush about an hour's drive from Launceston. It's such a great weekend, we even camped. I'm a girl who likes hot showers, flushing toilets and comfortable beds on her holidays, so the fact that I was willing to forgo all of them should indicate just how worth going the festival is. There were some amazing acts not only from all over Australia but also from overseas, and in between, as we milled around the big grassed area, people were spontaneously juggling, riding unicycles around,.or practicing their backflips. It's a real family event, and I've never seen so many delicious babies in my life! I didn't take very many photos because I would get lost in the moment and forget, but above is one of the big trapeze they had set up which you could have a go on (I was too scared, perhaps next time?).

On St Valentine's Day, we decided to go with the cheesyness of the day and go to Luna Park, which is an historic amusement park in Melbourne. It was opened in 1912, and has the oldest continuously-operating rollercoaster in the world, the Scenic Railway. The whole place has a rather shabby air about it, which I rather liked, and some of the rides are incredibly old, such as the Scenic Railway (1912), the Ghost Train (1934), and a beautiful American carousel (1913). I'd never been on a roller coaster before, so that was pretty cool (and scary) and we went on most of the other rides, and had fairy floss and hot dogs, felt sick, and saw some rather magnificent bogans.

Yesterday, I went to Bendigo on the train to see The Golden Age of Couture exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
It was just as spectacular as I had expected, with simply heaps of clothing, including a whole room full of the most ravishing evening gowns, including this gorgeous red chiffon one by Jean Desses from 1953.
My favourite by far was this voided silk velvet evening dress by Bianchini Ferie from 1948. Click on it to see a larger picture, and admire the detail of the velvet checks in the fabric. It is so sumptuous and elegant, and I love the neckline with the velvet bows.

There was also an amazing doll called Miss Lachasse, who was one of a collection of fashion dolls created for a touring exhibion in 1954 by the Lachasse couture house. She was based on their leading model, Virginia Woodford, and had a collection of minature clothes and accessories of the type that a couture client would possess, including the world's smallest pair of fully-fashioned nylon stockings. Below you can see some of her wardrobe, with a minature bra and girdle, a grey wool day dress with patent leather buckle, a leather handbag with a mirror and purse, tiny gloves, and packages of stockings. She also had two tweed suits, a tweed coat, a silk dress with matching jacket, a mink coat, jewellery, cigarettes with a holder, hankerchiefs, and a pen and stationary.

If you are at all interested in fashion, I urge you to visit the exhibition, as it is on until sometime in March. All the photos are from the V&A Museum site, so have a look at that if you can't make it to Bendigo.