As my colleagues will undoubtedly confirm, I cannot resist a dressing up box. Show me a crown, a bonnet or a ball-gown and I’ll be happy all day.
Imagine my inner-princess’s excitement then when a friend and I had the chance to attend the Jane Austen Festival’s Annual Summer Ball in Bath last weekend.
This, naturally, involved some beautiful gowns and the chance to raid the wonderful stock of jewellery and head dresses at Props Galore to make sure we cut quite the dash as we entered the stunning Guildhall Banqueting Room.
A two-hour dance class in the afternoon ensured we could at least wing it on the night and the wonderful people from the Jane Austen Festival ensured that no one was left out, the MC and the live musicians worked their socks off.
Gaining confidence, we were able to add a little flair and swagger to our moves in a room full of fluttering fans and swirling skirts. Luckily, I had stabilised Props Galore’s beautiful double banded pearl headdress and ostrich feathers with an entire pack of pins!
It is a wonderful thing to see a real 18th century ballroom full of costumes and accessories in their home environment and being used for their true purpose. We cared not a whit for the many collisions and mis-steps; the atmosphere of shared enthusiasm for Austen and historical dress-up was a true delight and we will definitely be back next year!
The Festival kicks off properly in September. For more info visit janeaustenfestivalbath.co.uk
And for your accessories, you know where to find us!
By Susan Moisan
Banner image by Artur Lesniak, courtesy of the Bath Chronicle