For the last few weeks, I've embarked on a new creative project and it's all thanks to Jane Austen. This year, I've re-read her books for inspiration and have been channeling my young teenager self. In those days, that teen didn't let the business part of fashion bog down the creativity yearning to be unleashed.
With the help of Jane Austen and fellow Janeites, I am happy to say that the creative beast has been busy sewing for the JASNA AGM (Jane Austen Society of North America Annual General Meeting). After joining JASNA in July, I received a very warm welcome from several members and so I started my journey in "Redesigning the Regency." A fun side project that combines my love of fashion history, Jane Austen and seeing my work alive in the world.
Pictured below is fellow JASNA member Becky Dolin, who is wearing one of my first Regency inspired designs. The gown features an empire waist with a drawstring casing that is tied in the back and Juliet sleeves. I chose a blue chambray cotton because I like natural fibers versus man-made ones.
In getting to know Becky, she found Jane Austen similar to when I started reading the Encyclopedia Britannica in Junior High, by starting with the letter "A." She said when looking for undiscovered authors in the library, it seemed like the most logical place to start and I completely agree with her.
As an English Major, she chose to go to England for her honeymoon in 1974 and her husband loved it because everyone spoke English and he could read the menus. I have a feeling that our husbands are like minded as well. A few years ago my husband didn't want to go to Paris with me because he didn't want to deal with learning French.
One of the challenges, while Becky and her husband were in England was driving on the left side. Definitely something that I couldn't do myself, especially not owning a car and not having to drive regularly here in NYC. I commend them both for their bravery, but it seemed like the drive to Bath and the Assembly Rooms were well worth it because it became one of Becky's favorite stops.
Recently, Becky re-connected with Jane Austen through a class taught by Elisabeth Lenckos
at the University of Chicago Graham School and by joining the Jane Austen Society of North America.
She is a member of the JASNA-Greater Chicago Region
, served as the Membership Secretary for several years, served on the the panel of Judges for the annual JASNA Essay contest for a few years, and is actively involved in the Steering Committee for the 2021 AGM in Chicago.
A fun fact about Becky is whenever she substitute teaches on a "dress-up" day at school she always goes as Jane Austen and this year I'm honored that she will be wearing one of my creations.