Friday, July 27, 2012

Packing, Progress...Panicking!

Sorry, I couldn't resist the alliteration!

I am seriously panicking though.  This year Newport Dance Week includes four balls (1920s/Gatsby, 1860s, Ragtime, 1890s), one early-twentieth century "silent film evening," two major day events (seaside stroll, formal tea), and I also need nine days' worth of normal clothes for classes and travel.

I might die.

In addition to all of the sewing I am frightfully behind on (which is all of it, incidentally), I still need to pack and make sure that I have all my dance shoes, gloves, hats, and sparkly bits for each day as well.  In case you were wondering, packing tiaras is hard.  They do not actually conform to boxes but must be packed carefully lest they break.

Seriously, I am going to explode.

But the panic has been urging me to work when I would normally be sleeping, and I have made progress!  Here are a couple of photos (taken via Instagram, so apologies for the quality) of how my 1920s and Ragtime dresses are coming along:

my "cherry blossom" ragtime dress

gold with sequin fringe 1920s dress, dubbed the "gladiator" by my family

fringe close-up
The exciting thing is that most of the dresses I will be wearing are new, so I will have a lot to post about when I get back!  In the meantime, I have a couple of Newport history-related posts scheduled for next week, so hopefully they will keep you entertained while I am away!

Also, I take comfort in the fact that this whole packing nonsense is nothing new.  In fact, here is a charming description of Newport trunks from Belle Brittan, writing in 1856:

"I forgot to mention the sensation produced by the arrival this morning of about thirty trunks belonging to a handsome New-York widow--one of the trunks being the size of an Irish shanty.  I am so glad, as Pa scolded a little about the trunk I bought to pack my hoops in; and called it 'Noah's Ark.'  But after seeing this huge dry goods warehouse in the hall today, he promised to laugh at mine no more." (July 16, 1856; p161)

You can read more about Belle's travels and her season in Newport in Belle Brittan on a Tour: at Newport, and Here and There.  The book is a series of fictional letters detailing the travel of Belle Brittan, originally published as a serial in The Daily Mirror and written by co-founder Hiram Fuller. They can be read in full for free on Google Books.  Her descriptions are absolutely charming, and I recommend it!

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