My weekend was FUN. And even though it wasn’t especially fashion-related, I’m going to tell you aaaall about it because it was fab and I think you’ll love it!
One of my besties planned a Titanic-themed dinner party. The evening’s menu was based on the ACTUAL MENU that was served on the Titanic; the very last meal before the ship sank. I was worried the food would be bad / odd, and to be fair, we did make a couple of slight changes. For instance, we didn’t serve the squab (posh culinary term for pigeon. Yep… Google it if you dare, even the images are a tad graphic!) We also omitted the roast duckling. But otherwise, the food was pretty much what we would eat today, even if there were 11 courses! Featuring oysters, shrimp, beef, soup, salmon, salads, veges, pudding, jelly, éclairs, ice cream, cheese and crackers. Whew!
The punch romaine was a highlight; a fruity drink served in crushed ice. SO good. The salmon was incredible, and my greatest accomplishment was the jelly sculpture – tinned peaches with ginger beer! Nom!
Now to the fashion – the theme was black, so lbds for the ladies and suits with bowties for the guys. Negl, we felt sooooooo swank! I bought a backless, embroidered black shift dress for the occasion, worn with a gold tassled shawl and The Best Clutch Ever (seriously! See below and swoon). Sequined and bowed gold stilettos finished my look.
We didn’t quite push our authenticity as far as period costume – getting an outfit like that together would have been seriously hard work! If you do want the deets on creating a Titanic-esque costume, I suggest you look at this page. It tells your eeeeverything you need to know about dressing to board the Titanic. This site has photos of actual Titanic passengers that were onboard the ship. A tiny bit eerie but still very good viewing, and the very best example of what people actually wore on the Titanic. You should also read this – apparently one of the most glam and major international fashion designers of the time was on board the Titanic!
The Belle Epoque era (which spanned 1890 to 1914; Titanic sank in 1912) is currently making its own fashion comeback. Belle Epoque styles were seen everywhere at this year’s Paris Fashion Week and Trelise Cooper has designed an entire range inspired by the era. This page is also a visual treat; it has a combo of legit Belle Epoque era dress and modern styles inspired by the originals (featuring examples by Dior and Zuhair Murad).
Staging a titanic-themed dinner is def not for the faint-hearted – ours was soooo long in the planning and we even had meetings! It took quite a lot of coordination and commitment. But if you’d like to find out more and at least pore over some lush images, I recommend these titles:
Last Dinner on the Titanic / Rick Archbold
This book contains aaaall the details of the last meal on the Titanic, including recipes, what was used as decoration on the tables and lots of other random facts. An interesting read, even if you have no intention of cooking a thing.
Titanic Style: Dress and Fashion on the Voyage / Grace Evans
As the title suggests, this book gives you the full low-down on fashion and style onboard the Titanic.
Titanic: The Last Great Images / Robert D Ballard
This book captures the less glam side of the Titanic, and features lots of the pics of the wreckage. Again, a bit eerie, but still an interesting browse.