This year’s costume takes on a more imaginative turn as I don a raven masquerade outfit. The costume was inspired by ravens, of course, but also by some costumes from film and TV:
The collar is actually inspired by the collars that queens of each krewe (social organization) wear on Mardi Gras.
The stays are 18th century (stays being the appropriate period term for corset). Corsets and stays were generally stiffened with strips of whalebone or steel inserted into channels. Mine uses strips of plastic cut from old Five Star notebook covers. I mean it works right?
I’ll take this opportunity to dispel some myths about corsets and stays. Corsetry in general has gotten a pretty bad rap thanks to Hollywood scenes of women being so tightly laced into their corsets they cannot breathe or move. But in reality, very few women actually tight-laced their corsets. Most women, especially those of the middle or lower class who had to work and take care of the household and children, did not adhere to tight-lacing. It was only some women who wanted to be ultra fashionable that went to the extreme of tight-lacing. And as for corsets being symbols of the oppression of women by the patriarchy… well not so fast. Many men, especially doctors, ridiculed the wearing of corsets, blaming them for all sorts of health problems, and satirized them in cartoons.
Anyway, its so fun to feel witchy!