Aside from the dashing gentlemen and the romantic love stories, the Regency period has beautiful fashion. Jane Austen’s ladies are always outfitted in timeless pieces that serve as great inspiration for the 21st century girl. The period is marked by shiny satin, soft chiffons and delicate lace. I absolutely love vintage-inspired trends, and as an Austenite, I am always excited to incorporate an ultra-feminine piece to my outfit.
One of my favorite inspirations is the 1995 Emma, staring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam. Emma is a fantastic story with an absolutely adorable romance, but visually, the film embodies everything I love about this period! Full of soft, airy fabrics and ribbons and bows galore, Emma Woodhouse’s life and style is effortlessly romantic. It is a wonderful adaptation of the book; Gwyneth Paltrow had me alternating between sighing and laughing throughout. But the screen-stealer title definitely goes to Alan Cumming for his portrayal Mr. Elton—the combination of puppy eyes at Emma and obnoxious remarks is a treat to watch! And yell at. One of my favorite scenes is when he leaves Emma a riddle for her and Harriet Smith’s collection—and the misunderstanding that follows shortly. Though he is a comic relief that you can hardly take seriously, his riddle is quite clever (and could translate to quite an effective pick-up line)! Here it is:
“My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease.
Another view of man, my second brings,
Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!
But ah! united, what reverse we have! […]”- Jane Austen, Emma
Can you put yourself in Emma and Harriet’s place and solve Mr. Elton’s riddle? (Hint: Imagine yourself as a young eligible girl in 1800s Highbury, caught up in romance and matchmaking! And we do suspect that Mr. Elton has some strong feelings for a certain someone!) Comment below or tweet me @theanikamehta if you have the answer!
Today’s DIY project is simple but elegant ribbon cuff bracelets. Ribbons are a big part of Regency fashion. You can see ribbons around bonnet brims, empire waists – they are a definite staple of Regency accessorizing. A quick trip to the craft store will supply you with the materials to make these vintage-inspired bracelets, which are a perfect statement accessory and instantly add romance to any outfit.
- Ribbons and trim (On my Joann’s Fabrics haul this week, I stocked up on pastel satin ribbons in blue and pink, cream colored lace, and pearl and rhinestone trim.)
- FabriTac glue
- Sew-On Snaps
- Felt (optional)
1. Measure around your wrist and cut your ribbon and trimming to that length.
2. Use your imagination to arrange the ribbons in design that you like.
3. Use the glue to glue the ribbons together.
4. Optional step: If the ribbon is too thin, add a strip of felt to the back of your cuff.
5. Sew or glue the snaps on to the two ends of the cuff (make sure it fits your wrist first!).
A little inspiration: You can either dress these cuffs up or down! Pair it with a simple back sweater, skinny jeans and a bold cat eye, and it adds just a touch of feminine delicacy to your outfit. Or go full-Emma with a pastel lace dress and pretty pink lips to fully embrace the period. This is the perfect accessory to wear to afternoon tea with your girlfriends; you’ll feel just like Emma, having a leisurely break on the grounds of Hartfield (all your have to do is wait for Mr. Knightley to have a fun little verbal spar with!)