torstai 1. joulukuuta 2011

2011 Christmas season opening 18th century ball

The traditional 18th century Christmas season opening ball was held last Saturday in an old naval fortress, Suomenlinna The construction of the fortress begun in middle of 18th century and it used to be a lively cultural center in 18th century Helsinki so, although being a little dungeon-like, it is an appropriate place for such an event. It was my first time at the Christmas season opening ball and I had a blast. As I was feeling lazy and the cream Française was still hanging unpacked in our hallway, I wore it. It also had the advantage of an easy hairstyle. I wanted to enjoy the evening and not to think about photographing too much, so I have only a few low quality pictures, but you get to see the ones I have. I start with a few pictures of me on the arrival.

There had been an 18th century fair earlier that day and my friend mademoiselle Tirbuck was still wearing her maid clothing when I arrived, so we took a picture of her serving me some secret and unknown delicacy.

She then changed in to her much admired new striped robe à l'Anglaise.

First we were served a toast of something mysterious in content, but I'm sure it had at least some alcohol in it. Mademoiselle Tirbuck filling her glass:

Not long after that we were served a fabulous 18th century dinner.

During the dinner and dessert a group of musicians played 18th century music. One of the musicians had made some of the instruments played that evening and I was delighted to examine the beautiful and very ornamented lute and a simple viola da gamba. After dinner we were entertained with bagpipes and a drum. I loved it, but even better was still to come, a shadow play accompanied with Bellman's songs. 

The 18th century me was shocked by the content of the play. After all there were a few young unmarried women in the audience, that shouldn't even be aware of the things that happen between a man and a woman in such detail, but here these things were so grotesquely portrayed to us. The 21st century me enjoyed the risque play immensely!

Later in the evening the musicians took over again and we were able to dance. 

The best thing about the evening was meeting for the first time a most delightful young lady from northern Finland ( ) who shares my passion for pretty dresses. You can already see the back view of her beautiful polonaise style gown in the picture above. See, she looked pretty as a picture!

During the evening I also stumbled in the middle of a picturesque scene, where our senior soldiers were gathered in the chilly and dark hallway calmly talking the usual historical manly things, guns and wars and such, and I tried to discretely capture the moment.

I left the ball at midnight. Helsinki at night from the sea.

18 kommenttia:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much for posting these beautiful pictures, and I had such fun reading your event recap! :)

  2. It looks like it was a wonderful evening. Your gown is gorgeous. :)

  3. Very beautiful pictures : )


  4. Amazing photos. It feels pretty much like looking through a window into the past! Thanks for sharing!
    Your dress is soooo beautiful, you're an inspiration!

  5. Thanks so much. We reenactors in the States are quite jealous and wish we could be with you. Cheers and happiness to all in Scandanavia and it's environs.

  6. Great photos! And wonderful dress, I may be odd but I also liked the sound the flowing fabric of the dress made while you walked. I'm sorry for being too shy to actually talk to you at the ball..

  7. What a lovely looking event! Your ensemble is stunning!

  8. Absolutely beautiful! What a lovely event, and I adore your white gown!

  9. Thank you all very much!

    Andrea, many of us Scandinavians wish they could be present in your wonderful events. :)

    Merineiti, I love that sound too. And I'm sure we get to meet properly someday.

  10. I've enjoyed your blog so much, and was pleased to have the opportunity to give you an award on my blog. Thank you for sharing all of your lovely work with the rest of the world.

  11. Oh my god, you are so kind! Thank you very much! :)

  12. This is lovely, I am glad to have a peek at this ball.

  13. I just found your blog via Festive Attyre. And since then I have been quite flabbergasted. I just can't believe you have made your own stockings and you have made your own shoes and you have made stays by hand sewing and you have made all these fabulous gowns just learning it yourself, without any professional sewing schools. You must be true talent :D And I definetly raise my hat for you!
    I am intrigued where you get all the material for your sewing. Like that silk jersey you used for stockings, and was there more colour options? I've been dying to get silk stockings for 30's style, but they are pretty impossible to find, atleast in my size. Do you order abroad or do you find everything from Finland?

    Rhia from

  14. Thank you for your compliments! :) I'm blushing! You looked very very lovely, too, and it was a great pleasure to meet you! I'm looking forward to the next time!

  15. Thank you all for your compliments!

    Rhia, I found the silk knit from and they carry other nice fabrics too. The knit comes only in one color, but I suppose it will dye well. I order almost all my fabrics abroad. One of my most frequently used sources is .

    Sanna, looking forward for the next time too. :)

  16. What a lovely party and a wonderful blog!