Today marks the anniversary of the death of the last (canon) victim of Jack the Ripper, that of Mary Jane Kelly.
Rest in peace Mary.
I have always had an interest in the Ripper and no amount of documentaries offering alternative theories have managed to shift me from who I believe the Ripper to be. Not to belittle what happened over those four months, one hundred and twenty four years ago, but it’s a gruesome affair and I’m sure everyone knows what happened, so there will be no photos, instead there will be Fashions of 1888 instead. Or fashion as my Victorian dress dated from just that year. It was pure coincidence, I prefer the styles of the latter Victorian years to those of the start and I just love a bustle.
I made my whole outfit myself, it took me two months. This may sound excessive but there was a lot to it (the dress, hat, bag, muffler and cape) and the hand sewing took some time.
Even though it is termed a dress, this outfit is made up of four separate parts, a bustle, a skirt, an over skirt and a peplum jacket.
The jacket has twenty one metal buttons fastening it and it is painful indeed to unfasten and then fasten each one especially in colder weather. Tiresome too.
All the ribbon was hand sewn on and each tiny glass bead was individually sewn on (the beads really aren't wonky it's the way they are lying and the kink of the ribbon).
Such a dusty hat; I look like I was actually left in a cupboard in the late Victorian period and then dragged out for show and tell, and botherment! I forgot to take off my glasses.
Earlier this week I attempted to iron it but as it's 100% cotton and mostly black it was the devil to iron without ending up with shiny bits. I became painfully aware that I don't have much room indoors in which to take photos. I could also just about fit on a chair with my bustle.
Self timer mishap.
What a glorious silhouette a bustle makes!
Insubordinate pose ahoy!
"Fancy a tumble sir?"
In another time I could have been a dollymop.
(although I most certainly hope I wasn't)
(the apron part of my over skirt has a habit of pushing my jacket up .. boo!)
Despite being incredibly warm in my dress, I then got to thinking about impractical things to do in Victorian garb. Whereas I am very sure housework would be in the top five, I was intent on fun not chores, so I present you with hula hooping in a bustle dress! How hard could it be to hula with a bustle? Well let me tell you, it was difficult, my movements were about three quarters slower and I was terribly restricted.
Here you see a variation on my concentration face ..
So there you go, now you can say you've seen a woman in a Victorian dress with a bustle, hula hooping.