Deborah Yaffe


By Deborah Yaffe, Feb 22 2016 02:00PM

Fashion – at least in the practical, everyday, what-are-you-wearing-this-morning sense – is not my thing. However, I like looking at pictures of pretty Regency dresses as much as the next Janeite, and so I have no hesitation in recommending this slide show of Regency fashion, put together by a blogger who goes by

The slides include no credits or captions, so this is strictly for ogling, not research. But hey – it’s Monday.

By Deborah Yaffe, Feb 15 2016 02:00PM

Just in case yesterday’s festivities didn’t give you enough of that Valentine’s Day spirit, Biltmore House, the palatial Asheville, N.C., estate of the Vanderbilt family, has the perfect solution: “Fashionable Romance,” an exhibit of wedding gowns worn in the movies.

Included in the exhibit, which runs through July 4, are gowns from the Ang Lee/Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility, the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, and the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice. Judging from the web site pictures, the display – which includes a total of forty costumes from nineteen films -- will be a feast for costume-mad Janeites.

I’ve never been to Biltmore, but from here it looks kind of like Pemberley on steroids. If you go sometime this spring or summer, please report back!

By Deborah Yaffe, Mar 9 2015 01:00PM

Even if you don’t understand German – and I don’t – you may get a kick out of this YouTube video of a recent Austen-themed ball in the Bavarian town of Erlangen, in southern Germany.

I’m especially enthralled by the Regency hair-styling and makeup salon: now there’s an innovation that the next JASNA conference should embrace! The live period music sounds beautiful, and from what I could glimpse on the video, and in the photo accompanying this German-language account, some of the costumes were gorgeous.

"The atmosphere is so much nicer than at a modern ball. The women's dresses are so beautifully colorful,” the English-language version of the story quotes one ball-goer, identified as “Harald from Vienna,” as saying. “Nowadays women all wear black to balls. It's like at a funeral."

Actually, nowadays women don't attend too many balls. But I take his point.

By Deborah Yaffe, Sep 23 2013 01:00PM

I spent this past week participating in a most enjoyable Group Read of Among the Janeites at the Republic of Pemberley (it's now concluded, but you can read the archived version here). In the course of that conversation, several people asked to see a picture of the Regency gown whose pursuit is a narrative thread in the book.

Pictures of me in the gown are never going to see the light of day as long as I have breath in my body to prevent it. But the gown itself, created by the talented Maureen O'Connor of the New York City chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America, is quite lovely, as the pictures below will attest.

Here's the dress from top to bottom:

And here's a detail of the very pretty sleeves:

If only I could have done it justice. . .

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