Samstag, 21. Juni 2014

Yekaterina Nelidova 1773 dress

One of the first pictures I stumbled over during basic research was this:
//Eines der ersten Bilder, über das ich während meiner frühen Recherchen stolperte, ist dieses:

Yekaterina Nelidova, dressed as Serpina in the short opera "La serva padrona", painted by Dmitry Levitzky in 1773.

I still can't decide if I desperately want this dress or if I totally hate it, but I decided to make it!
I ordered 4m of green polyester taffeta some weeks ago and as soon as I have time (next week I hope) I will start making further plans and adapting a pattern.
//Ich weiß immer noch nicht, ob ich es unbedingt haben möchte oder es furchtbar hässlich finde, aber ich habe mich dazu entschieden, es zu nähen! Ich habe 4m grünen Polyestertaft bestellt und sobald ich Zeit habe (hoffentlich nächste Woche), werde ich mich näher mit dem Schnitt beschäftigen.

For now, this is the fabric:
//Hier ist erstmal der Stoff:

no camera flash //ohne Blitz
with camera flash //mit Blitz
Yep, it's not the exact colour, but it was cheap. And let's be honest: Which fabric company sells muddy green-greyish taffeta?
//Er hat nicht dieselbe Farbe wie auf dem Bild, aber er war billig. Und mal ehrlich: Welcher Stoffhersteller verkauft schon schlamm-grün-grauen Taft?

Dienstag, 17. Juni 2014

Poesie: Schöne Junitage (Detlev v. Liliencron)

Schöne Junitage

Mitternacht, die Gärten lauschen,
Flüsterwort und Liebeskuß,
Bis der letzte Klang verklungen,
Weil nun alles schlafn muss -
Flußüberwärts singt eine Nachtigall.

Sommergrüner Rosengarten,
Sonnenweiße Stromesflut,
Sonnenstiller Morgenfriede,
Der auf Baum und Beeten ruht -
Flußüberwärts singt eine Nachtigall.

Straßentreiben, fern, verworren,
Reicher Mann und Bettelkind,
Myrtenkränze, Leichenzüge,
Tausendfältig Leben rinnt -
Flußüberwärts singt eine Nachtigall.

Langsam graut der Abend nieder,
Milde wird die harte Welt,
Und das Herz macht seinen Frieden,
Und zum Kinde wird der Held -
Flußberwärts singt eine Nachtigall.

Detlev von Liliencron (1844-1909)

Blumeninsel Mainau, Bodensee

Donnerstag, 12. Juni 2014

American Duchess "Kensington" 18th century shoes

(German and pictures after the cut)
Recently I decided to finally buy myself a pair of American Duchess historical shoes! I had wanted one for years but I always hesitated: Quite expensive, shipping from America to Germany - duty taxes?, sizing... Here's how it all began and turned out:

Measuring shoe size
I measured my shoe size (like three times - to be sure), following the instructions on the website.
As expected, my measurements did not fit the size chart perfectly. My feet are rather wide. I decided to base my choice rather on width than on lenght. Wider width = longer lenght. But one can easier stuff a shoe that's too long than make it wider when it is too narrow.
I decided on a US size 10, being a size 40-41 in Europe, according to the chart. In Germany my usual shoe size is a 40, which is a UK size 6.5 in German shoe shops (and a Euro size 39 according to the American Duchess size chart. That puzzled me, but I did rely on the centimeter information.)

Order, shipping, custom office
I ordered a pair of American Duchess "Kensington" shoes with Cavendish buckles in gold on May 16 and payed instantly via dedit card. I recieved a friendly e-mail with a tracking-ID to track my parcel.
Shipping duration was predicted 3-4 weeks. I was happily surprised when I saw my package sent to Germany on May 21 according to USPS.
Here in Germany the national postal service DHL proceeded my shoes. On May 22 they reached the responsible custom office. The custom office sent me a notification including information where and when to get my parcel and what to bring (eg. the document they sent me).
My mother visited the custom office to get my shoes. She had to answer a lot of questions (shoe material, production details etc.. Silly German bureaucracy) and pay the so called import turnover tax. Circa 20% of the total cost of my order (shoes, buckles, shipping costs).
My order cost 200.85$, which is about 148€. No customs duties had to be payed because in Germany orders below 150€ are duty free! Yay!

Unpacking and fit
Seeing the shoes for the first time was a delight. They look plain gorgeous as pictured online. And even the shoe box is super pretty - light blue and solid. The buckles came in a light blue velvet bag.
The shoes fit just right! I was so very relieved when I tried them on and they fit.
Attaching the buckles was a critical moment. I felt so scared ruining the perfect smooth ivory leather by piercing holes into it! But without the buckles the shoes would be useless. I could convince myself to "destroy" the perfectness, followed the instructions on the American Duchess website and succeeded. This picture was also quite helpful:

I love my Kensingtons. Not only do they fit but they are also extremely comfortable.
All in all: Good benefit-cost ratio, although the shipping costs and taxes (and the buckles, too!) made the shoes more expensive than they acutally are.