Victorian Fashion Show -part 1

by on June 29, 2011

A few weeks ago my grandmother called me to invite me to a Victorian fashion show of which she was the guest of honor.  As you can imagine I was beyond thrilled to go to such an event!  Why is my grandmother the guest of honor at such an event?  Let me give you a little back story on my family…. 

My grandmother’s side of the family are immigrants from Austria (not Australia, AUSTRIA).  More specifically we are Viennese.  In the mid 1800’s my family owned a lingerie shop where they sold their handmade lace and lingerie to the crème-de-la-crème of Vienna.  During world war two the family was split up with some staying in Austria and others (my great grandparents) coming to America.  When the lingerie shop closed all the clothing stayed with the family in Europe.  Now if there is one thing I can say about my family it’s that they don’t throw ANYTHING away!!!!  You have no idea the “treasures” they hold on to…. I digress.  So when the last of the immediate family past away in Vienna they had no children or living spouses, therefore they left their estate to my grandmother, the closest living relative.  This is how my grandmother came to inherit a very extensive, near perfect condition, mid 1800’s lingerie collection!

Now my grandmother is one of the most amazing women you will ever meet.  She is not only a role model to me but to many, many others who’s life she has touched.  She is a lady of the upmost grace and charm.  She has always looked at her position in life as an opportunity to give back to others and has spent a good portion of her life doing so.  To tell you the extent to which she has changed people lives would be a whole other blog, so I’ll stick to what’s relative.  Because of her (and my late grandfathers) continued support to the venue of the event, the Fullerton Arboretum, and her long time involvement with the Victorian Society they chose to honor her at the “Take tea and see… Victorian Fashions” event.  Now that is pretty cool in its self but I got way more excited when I heard that she had loaned our family collection to the Victorian Society to be modeled at the show!!!!!  Wow right????  I get to see the work of my great, great grandparents on real live people, at an event with over 200 people.  Now that’s what I call fun!

So you know Foxy isn’t going anywhere without have the best outfit in the house, right???  So first things first I gotta get my 1800’s on 😉  They asked that we wear hats to the tea, so I found a big floppy hat and a modern take on a Victorian style dress and I’m ready to sip tea with my pinky out!

I arrive at G-ma’s house early because I wanted to have time for a few photos.  Here is the lovely lady herself….

I am then kindly informed that you cannot go to a proper tea without gloves, I had no idea!  So out comes the box of gloves and after ten minutes of all of the ladies in my family trying on gloves I am suited up with a pair of elbow length, leather, 150 year old gloves. 


One last photo, hat back on, and we are off!!  I had to take a photo with the gentleman that was signing in all of the guests.  Everyone seems to be dressed up, this is sooooo much fun!!

We strolled up to the Garden Pavilion at the Arboretum and found our table.

A close up of the gloves for ya.

As we were being served our tea we were serenaded with a barbershop quartet.  These young men were just adorable!!!  Fantastic voices…. I’m sure they will get signed any day now 😉

And with that the fashion show begins!!!!  All of the pictures I’m about to show you are my families work and yes these pieces are really over a hundred years old!

There was a short intermission at this point and I took the time to mingle with a few of the ladies who were hosting the tea.  I’ll spare you the dozens of pictures of people coming over to say hello to G-ma she is a very popular lady!  I decided to wonder over to the table were some of the more delicate pieces, that could not be worn, were on display and take some photos.

This says Viennese Fashion.

This is one of the ladies involved in the Victorian Society.  She was delighted to hear that I had moved to the area and asked if I would model for next year’s fashion show!!  What do you think guys?  Foxy in 1800’s lingerie…. Could be HOT!! 

Continue to part 2

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