I really wanted to wear an 18th century outfit in Venice because that is by far the most popular style to wear there, likely because of Casanova having been born there. Since I had a tragic accident with my Annie Lennox gown (I accidentally made the bodice to fit the Cheap Chick, who happens to be about 8 inches smaller than me….) the only other option I had was the State Fair gown which had never been worn.
I did not have a workable French corset at the time of the trip, so I wore my Victorian and it did alright. It wasn’t the perfect silhouette, but I was comfortable!
We took a Casanova tour in the early morning and dressed for it. I saw many other lovely 18th century gowns, but none were as elaborately embroidered or beaded as this one was. Sadly my fan didn’t make it the entire day – it broke before lunch. I wore the gold mask from my blue Italian gown and literally wore off the strap by the end of the evening.
I attempted to reshape the hat after it had been worn on the big wig, and it didn’t go over very well. I am afraid it is beyond salvaging now.
I did discover that the dress is very comfortable and that I do love the color. There was a reason I kept hoarding this fabric every time I went to New York! I wore the dress literally all day, through an amazing gluten free dinner in a tiny little restaurant north of St. Mark’s Square and through a downpour that had me darting from restaurant awning to storefront. One man threw confetti into my cleavage and another offered to clean off my rain covered chest! It was pretty funny.
The dress itself didn’t like the rain much and got crunchy after awhile. I did wash it when I got home and it seemed to smooth out. A good ironing should take care of the rest. One thing I did discover – do not ever back something in wool felt and wash it- the dye will bleed through. Not sure the stomacher can be saved at this point.
I really did enjoy wearing the dress and was very pleased with my hair as well. Thanks to Kendra Van Cleave’s hair tutorials for making my hair look amazing.
I ignored historical accuracy and wore my black Merrell Mary Janes with the gown because I knew there would be a lot of walking. This was the correct choice as they made it through the rain. My American Duchess shoes probably would not have.
Now that I have a new corset the entire gown will sit better and fit better. However, I still look back at this day as one of the most fun I had the entire time I was in Venice.