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20 August 2011

My Proud Moment

I digress a little from miniatures, however, keeping with the subject of costume I cant resist sharing with you a little part of my special day when my son graduated at the
University College Plymouth St Mark & St John - founded 1840 - with a BA Hons degree in Sports Development. This is when you see your hard work of support and encouragement come to fruition and hopefully paves the way to a more successful future for your child.

The graduation ceremony was very special, a much smaller scale than we had experienced with our elder son, who graduated from Southampton with a degree in Bachelor of Law with Business Management.

Once we had arrived at the University we collected the Academic Dress - this is where my camera started to work over time, I kept hearing stop it Mum, but he soon got used to it.

Academic dress is a traditional form of clothing for academic settings, primarily tertiary education, worn mainly by those that have been admitted to a university degree (or similar) or hold a status that entitles them to assume them (e.g., undergraduate students at certain old universities).

Contemporarily, it is commonly seen only at graduation ceremonies, but formerly academic dress was, and to a lesser degree in many ancient universities still is, worn on a daily basis. Today the ensembles are distinctive in some way to each institution, UCP St Mark & St John’s identity is the purple design which you can see in the photos. Academic dress is also worn by members of certain learned societies and institutions as official dress.

Collection of UCP Hoods

Yahooooo! We've done it

There are 3 main components - Gown or Robe, Hood and a Mortarboard, a little history on these being:-

Gown  (medieval Latin gunna) is a (usually) loose outer garment from knee- to full-length worn by men and women in Europe from the early Middle Ages to the seventeenth century (and continuing today in certain professions); later, gown was applied to any woman's garment consisting of a bodice and attached skirt.

The gowns worn today by academics, judges and some clergy derive directly from the everyday garments worn by their medieval predecessors.

A hood is a component of academic dress that is an often bright and decorative garment worn over a gown and used only at graduations or on other special occasions. The shape of hoods of universities and colleges in the UK and in many Commonwealth countries have been derived from those prescribed at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Cap variation
The square academic cap, often called a mortarboard (1) (because of its similarity in appearance to the hawk used by bricklayers to hold mortar (2) or Oxford cap, is an item of academic head dress consisting of a horizontal square board fixed upon a skull-cap, with a tassel attached to the centre. In the UK and the US, it is commonly referred to informally in conjunction with an academic gown worn as a cap and gown. The cap, together with the gown and (sometimes) a hood, now form the customary uniform of a university graduate, in many parts of the world, following a British model.

Many university graduation ceremonies in the United Kingdom begin with a procession of academics, (faculty) wearing the formal regalia. This procession is accompanied by music, and a ceremonial mace is often carried. The ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood - tradionally, carried before a high official in civic ceremonies by a mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority. The mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon. Processions often feature maces, as on parliamentary or formal academic occasions.

Mace Bearer

After this, an official reads out the names of the graduates one by one, organized by class of degree or by subject. When their names are called, the graduates walks across the stage to shake hands with a senior official, this is where I wanted to absorb every proud second, but at the same time catch it all on film.
Certificate awarded
O no!, they caught me
Nearest I'll get to wearing the academic cap

We finished with a lovely lunch which finished the day off nicely.

01 August 2011

Beauty & Restriction in Miniature form

Here is my latest completed doll. Lots of you have been asking about more ladies dressing - so meet Harriet. Late Victorian to Edwardian, you will see her dressing for dinner, the afternoon Tea gown has been discarded to enable her to go through the ritual of adding all the necessary layers you would expect of an Edwardian hostess.

She adorns black stockings under her fashionable leather high heeled shoes. The miniature drawers are made from silk as is the chemise and the petticoat the doll is holding - all finished off with vintage lace. The corset has been laced up the back and has accomplished the task of enhancing the hour glass silhouette of the period. Luxurious silk, lace and glass stone detail up the front of the corset creates the desired sexual appeal of full curves and ample bosom, the ¢ S¢ shape, all in all the lingerie lends itself to an appropriate foundation for the outer garments, especially the skirts which will swish and rustle as she walks .

Harriet’s evening gloves are completed with her bracelet which matches her necklace.

Being a slave to the restrictions of corsetry was a matter of course for these ladies, I am so grateful to the evolution of fashion and customs. It would be interesting to get dressed up in some of the costumes I have created for my dolls, however, can you imagine being sat after dinner with the confines of many garments, wishing you had had the sense not to have finished that chocolate desert, perhaps wisdom was gained through experience.

The doll will shortly appear on my website for those of you who are interested.

So exhausting, this dressing -(sorry, this photo isn't very sharp).