Thursday, January 22, 2015

Balboa Park 1915-2015 Centennial Celebration

There has been a lot of fun stuff going on here at Balboa Park in San Diego!  It is the 100th Anniversary of the Park, which was built to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal and the Pan-American Expo event.  Think “Teens” era attire! The architecture is what is called “Spanish Rococo” and it just something to see!  
The Bell Tower is now open for climbing tours
for the first time in eighty years!

January 2015 had the San Diego Costume Guild busy, and I pulled out some of my “Teens” and  “Late-Edwardian” gowns and dresses.  I realized that I had never blogged about some of these beauties, so, instead of individual posts, I am going with a group blog.

The first week in January 2015 found the guild members as Volunteers at “The Museum of the History of Man”, which was the first official Centennial Kickoff celebration.  The Museum was hosting an event and asked for volunteers to attend in 1915 attire.  I was able to pull out an actual vintage “Teens era” 1915 two-piece dress ensemble,  a vintage Edwardian black silk taffeta coat with black fox collar, vintage parasol, and a wonderful vintage Edwardian black silk wide-brimmed hat trimmed with feathers and pink silk flowers.
Darlene and myself

I had purchased the two-piece dress several years ago, and it resided in my “To Do” box for a few years until the approach of 2012.  I pulled it out and started restoration and reconfiguration efforts.    After soaking it a couple of times and line drying it, I was able to see a lot of the work that went into making this dress.  I could see that it had originally been made for a larger lady and later was scaled down for a much smaller young lady.  I let out the side seams, some darts, placed a new waistband on the skirt, and was able to unpick the hem and drop it eight inches!  The fabric is a light-weight cotton.  It is dark grey with a windowpane plaid in cream.  The waist (or blouse) fit almost perfectly once I let out the side seams, tucks, and darts.  The waist has a “peplum” that I have seen worn out or tucked in, but I prefer to wear it out, as it adds little more interest to the ensemble.  I finished it up with a vintage black silk embroidered sash and sash pin.  I also have a vintage cream cotton slip with crocheted yoke underneath.  By wearing the cream colored slip under, it helps highlight the cream windowpane plaid.  When I tried it with a black slip, you could not really see the plaid at all.   

The hat was a wonderful find at “The Barn” antique mall in San Juan Capistrano a few years ago.  It was sitting there, calling my name, but the price was way beyond what I could afford.  However, as luck would have it, the lady that owned the booth came in as I was trying it on, we bargained a bit (and those of you that know me – know I like to bargain!) and she let me have it at a substantial discount!  She said she wanted it to go to someone that would take care of it and appreciate it!  Yeah!  It is a black silk velvet, the brim has a slight wire all around, the feathers are perfection and the pink roses are also of a pink silk velvet, add in a couple of vintage hat pins, and it was ready to go!  The parasol is what I call a “Walking” Edwardian Parasol.  I picked this beauty up at the Del Mar Antique show just a couple of years ago.  I actually was able to swap it directly for the one that I had!  The seller liked mine and I like hers, so we swapped!  I liked it because it was taller than the one that I originally had, and as I am tall, it was a good fit. 

Some of the San Diego Costume Guild Members

I took this picture and photo shopped to look old
The next centennial event was the 1915 Balboa Park Automobile race!  The original race was a 300 miles on a six mile course, so fifty laps.  The guild was invited to attend in “Teens Era” attire, and some of our members were even able to ride in some of the cars that drove the celebratory lap!  It was so great to see and hear these wonderful old cars moving!  Most of the time we just see them sitting still in museums, but this time they were up and racing!  The #8 car actually ran in the 1915 race and was here in 2015! 

The #8 car ran in the original 1915 Balboa Park Car Race.

For this event I pulled out a gown that I had only worn once before to a Tea in 2012.  It was made from the Laughing Moon #104 pattern for Gown and Guimpe, but I think I may have lost the Guimpe.  The gown is made of cream linen and lined with cotton.  The lace on the neckline is vintage and matched the Guimpe, which had the high-neck points.  The gown has two panels, front and back, of vintage tambour lace which I had been hoarding for just the right ensemble, and looks wonderful.  The driving duster is beige linen, not more than fifty years old, but the collar is true vintage – it does the trick!  I made the hat, and used the same parasol from the previous post as mentioned.  The weather was perfect and it was just a wonderful day!

Gina and myself in front of the Botanical Gardens
My next event was a spur of the moment with my friend, Gina L, and we decided to go to Balboa Park on “Residents Free” day in 1915 attire just for fun!  We made it to the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Museum of Art, the Timken Museum, Spanish Village, and enjoyed a casual lunch at Café 1915.  I tried again, my fourth attempt, to ride a vintage carousel in costume, only to be denied once again!  The vintage carousel is only open weekends in the winter months!

My friend Gina's lovely "Teens Era" dress she made

Gina made her lovely ensemble of a printed butter yellow linen with red accents, and mine was an actual “Teens” era dress of white cotton with a sailor collar.  I have had it for several years, again having worn it only once before to a picnic, and it fit me perfectly without alterations.  Same hat and parasol as previously noted.   It was a perfectly relaxing day with so much to see! 

If anyone wants to go again on “Free Residents” day on Tuesday, just let me know!  The more the merrier!  It has been a wonderful start so far for the 2015 Centennial celebration, and if you are coming down to San Diego Balboa Park, check their website for future events!  


1 comment:

  1. I love reading about all these wonderful treasures you find, especially when you restore them. You have such a great eye for that!
    Can't wait to see what you come up with next!