Megan and I took advantage of a break in the weather for a trip to the Village. Our first stop was to see if our favorite wood-fired, brick oven pizzas were available in the winter. The scent greeting us as we made our way there suggested that they were:
They are indeed open year-round, which was good to know. The garden was still beautiful, even in the depths of winter, as was the pizza:
With dinner squared away before noon, we headed for the Kelley House to see a special exhibit on vintage fashion. Did you know that wedding gowns were not always white? This one dates from 1860s:
We were entranced by the beautiful gowns on display:
Here are some details:
There’s even an M for Megan:
It’s hard to imagine my tomboy sister in one of these getups, but you’d have to be a pretty tough women to survive living here in the Victorian era. Don’t forget there was no Golden Gate Bridge or paved roads, so to get here from San Francisco involved taking a ferry across the Bay and then stagecoach or carriage. Or you could do the whole thing by water and have to take a Victorian style zipline to the rocky Mendocino shore:
In fact, Megan noticed that there was a framed, matted version of a similar photo for sale for a mere $40. She was unable to resist, and I think it was a very good purchase. You can still see the remains of the zipline on the headlands to this day.
Children wore exquisite little gowns as well:
I think this elegant black velvet cocktail dress from the 1940s could be worn now:
Some fashion is timeless. Fortunately, corsets and crinoline are not!
We were fascinated by a film in which a modern-day girl got dressed in 1860s and 1880s style, all by herself. To be fair, she already had foundation garments on, but it still didn’t take as long as we thought it would, even with buttoning boots and petticoats and lacing her own corset. She even showed us how a lady relieved herself in the days when skirts and undergarments weighed several pounds. The secret is the open pantaloons and facing the wall, the opposite of the way modern women do. The Victorian way allowed bustles and crinolines to billow out of the way of the business at hand.
It was fun to take a look at the past, but I’m glad that I live in the present!
A YEAR AGO: It was still winter-y, but the ballet was fabulous.
FIVE YEARS AGO: This and that, things and stuff.
TEN YEARS AGO: From being robbed at the DMV to seeing priceless jewels. Just another day in Oaktown.