Her Name Means Beauty



Amara Ann


Outline the story …

From the moment I read the theme, I knew that I wanted to use this opportunity to dive into a period inspired project. When I couldn't decide what to do, I asked my model/cousin what she would like to be and she, without hesitation, said Belle.

As the original text by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve was published in 1740, I decided to build a Rococo inspired gown for the wedding scene. I have a deep love for understructures and the opulence of Rococo France has always held a special place in my heart. With that in mind, I decided to build a robe a l'ainglaise retroussee, and, because I like to challenge myself, all of the associated understructures as well. I did not aim for 100% historical accuracy, instead, I hoped to create a garment that is visually representative of the period that I most associate with the story. I chose a buttercream silk as I feel that it best represents her as the light in her family's life, as well as the Beast's and her new found royal status. Despite their fall into poverty, she "tried to be brave and cheerful" and "soon [recovered] her natural gaiety". Even in her loneliness at the palace of the Beast, she chose to remain optimistic, generous and, above all else, kind. The colour is also strongly representative of her intellect, enlightenment, honour and loyalty.

Despite the sleepless nights and anxiety, I'm proud because my cousin couldn't have been more excited

Outline the construction…

I used patterns for the pocket hoops, split rump and stays for speed. The stays are a double layer of coutil, bones sandwiched between; tabs were removed to save time. I built both the petticoats the same way, with the skirt gathered onto a yoke to move the bulk of the gathers away from the waist and to the hips for more fullness. I also dyed the underpetticoat fabric. Next time, I would adjust the length of the skirt at the yoke to maintain a straight hem and attach the lace flounce to the skirt before gathering it onto the yoke. The gown was a combination of a self-drafted bodice pattern manipulated to match style lines from the period (like the shoulder line moved to the back) and a Janet Arnold skirt. The bodice is flat mounted and boned and has a waist band to hold the back flush against the body. The engageantes are detachable, as they would have been historically (but with snaps). I would have liked to make them fuller but there were only 3M of this lace available and it was too perfect.

- gown skirt & sleeves: the Snowhill collection in Janet Arnold "Patterns of Fashion 1"
- stays: Redthreaded
- split rump: American Duchess "Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking"
- pocket hoops: Jean Hunnisett "Period Costuming for Stage and Screen"

- "Fondue" silk taffeta: Silk Baron
- beige, beaded chantilly lace: Lace to Love
- rose brocade coutil: Farthingales




  1. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 9:32 am

    This is beautiful! The undergarments in particular is just gorgeous. Love it

  2. Avatar Mandy Pursley on March 14, 2021 at 2:47 am

    I love this vision of Belle! Great historical interpretation, and the details down to the undergarments are amazing!

  3. Avatar Manon L'Hostis on March 16, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    Love this color! And the silhouette looks great. Good job!

  4. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Beautiful work! I love how all the undergarments also match perfectly, and are so elegant.

  5. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 19, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    Nicely done! i especially love the lace trimmed panniers!

  6. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 20, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    I love how you’ve made the hip-cages match the costumes as well! The insides look so neat as well. Beautiful product and really captures the essence of Belle’s in her wedding dress!

  7. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 27, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Such an elegant outfit! I really like the hoops with the lace details

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