The Harvest Ball
That little disagreement between the northern and southern states that happened a few years back, give or take a hundred and fifty or so, may have marked a dark time in American history but at least the dresses of the period weren’t as bleak as the politics. And since, frankly, I’m happy revisiting any era as long as the corresponding frocks are pretty fabulous, when an opportunity presented itself to return to Civil-War America, my ringlets and pantaloons were in place faster than the quick step makes you skedaddle to an Irish shanty.
We attended the Harvest Ball a couple of weeks ago put on by the Fort Douglas Military Museum. This annual event replicates the 1860s in dress, dance and delicacies. However, unlike the actual 1860s, at this shindig the only arms taken up by the Union and Confederate soldiers present were those belonging to their ladies. If only we all could have gotten along so harmoniously back in the day.
I made Civil War time-period outfits for Jason and me a number of years ago so I didn’t have to scramble to find us something appropriate to wear that evening. Still, that didn’t mean my attire struggles were over. I was certain that a wardrobe incident was imminent with my enormous hoopskirt surrounding me like a giant carnivorous creampuff. Just walking around in that colossal ensemble felt dangerous enough, dancing in it seemed tantamount to begging for embarrassment. But, although I did clumsily step on my dress a couple of times while prancing around the hall, miraculously I never faltered on my face. Praise be to the gods of puffy undergarments!
Dancing in costume did turn out to be quite diverting despite the inherent difficulties. We ladies weren’t used to giving each other such a wide girth and our swirling skirts collided frequently, much to our amusement. You’ve never known mirth until you’ve twirled and bounced around while sporting orbiting hoops with their own gravitational forces.
What a charming evening filled with antique attire and lively entertainment. Thankfully, that entertainment did not include me performing a face plunge, although such a maneuver would definitely have made the night more historical.