On Saturday night, a new event was held at venerable Hamilton Hall: the Salem Resistance Ball, commemorating the British Colonel Leslie’s forced retreat from Salem in February of 1775 in particular and a more universal spirit of resistance. Congratulations to the board of Hamilton Hall and the Ball committee for a job well done: there were lots of special touches to be admired about the event, and attendees clearly enjoyed themselves immensely. People turned out in a mixture of authentic period dress, costume, wigs, and formal wear, and there was even a suffragette in attendance! I think I got my act together, and wore a 18th-century-esque ball gown (from the 1980s), with a very new and puffy petticoat and my “old” reproduction 1805 corset underneath. There were several pre-parties and then we all arrived at the Hall, where there was lots of rum, a photo booth, lovely lighting, reproduction historical flags lining the ballroom, a light supper in the supper room, and lots and lots of dancing, led by period dancers and a caller who was an excellent instructor: I learned a lot. In particular, I learned that the “Grand March”, which signals the end of each and every Christmas Dance that I’ve attended at Hamilton Hall over 20+ years, is not supposed to be a sloppy melee, but actually a much more intricate promenade, and that it generally happens more towards the beginning of the dance rather than at its end. Perhaps the Hall’s newest ball can lead to some reform of one its oldest?
Before the ball: a particularly beautiful sunset from Chestnut Street.
A very gracious pre-party.
Best dresses & the day after.
April 10th, 2017 at 6:34 pm
That looks like great fun. Great photos. It must have been fun putting together a costume. The corset sounds intriguing! I’m assuming you did NOT lace too tight! 🙂
In my sewing adventures I’ve run across some people who sew historical costumes for organizations, and individuals who like to do re-enactments. Their knowledge really impresses me. They research not just periods, and different classes, and men and women and children, but also the different kinds of clothing people wore for different kinds of work. (I think I’d always want to be in a lower class where I could tie up my skirts!)
When I go to art museums here in the city I like to look at how clothing is portrayed in paintings. It’s such an interesting aspect of material culture–clothing.
Thanks for sharing!
April 10th, 2017 at 6:41 pm
It was fun, Laura. I agree with you completely about reproduction clothing craftsmen–they are amazingly detail-oriented! There was only one or rwo really historically-perfect dresses the other night, but that was fine, the spirit was there.
April 11th, 2017 at 4:44 am
Coulda fooled me! 🙂 I thought I saw more than two there that were quite convincing. That’s encouraging for those of us who don’t have a closet full of period clothing!