Plum & Chartreuse at the Portrait Gallery (+ A New Hat!)

Back in mid-August I had the opportunity to participate in a really great experience. My friend Gloria (of In the Long Run) and her husband, Mike, organized a meet-up of historical costumers and photographers at the National Portrait Gallery here in DC for an afternoon photoshoot.

photo by Justin Schneider

There were 8 of us in costume (from left to right: Gloria, Stephani, Glynnis, Me, Nastassia, Tarisa, Taylor and Maggie) and 3 photographers (Dan, Justin and Mike). So we split into 3 groups of costumers and each group rotated through the photographers for about an hour with each, taking turns getting photographed. And what costumer doesn’t love an opportunity to get good photos of their hard work in a beautiful setting?!

I realized this would be a perfect opportunity to get such photos of my plum and chartreuse Natural Form gown made almost 2 years ago but of which I only got a few photos:

However, because I’m me I couldn’t not make anything new for this. I’d always meant to make a hat to go with this dress and now I had the perfect excuse reason!

This hat was made using my trusty Truly Victorian pattern TV550 1880s Tapered Hats, the shorter crown versions of which also work well for 1870s/Natural Form.

It’s a buckram and millinery wire base covered with fabrics used to make the gown…

and trimmed with some vintage ribbon and a millinery piece that matched the colours perfectly.

Quick selfie of me in my new hat just before the photoshoot got started:

So basically this post is spam of this outfit at the National Portrait Gallery, lol. But I do think it’s really interesting seeing the different styles of each photographer.


The first photographer my group worked with was Dan Arango of Dan Arango Photography.

I really loved this one he got of my new hat!


Next up was Justin Schneider of Rich and Strange Photography

Oh my stars and garters – a naked female form!

Heavens to mergatroid!!

I do really love the dramatically atmospheric look of this shot and how the gown looks in almost-silhouette. Very cool effect!

Justin was also good enough to get our obligatory shoe shot!

And finally our group worked with Mike & Gloria, although it was Mike doing most of the shooting as Gloria was there as a costumer that day.

This is probably my favourite shot from the whole day:

And in playing around with it they got this very striking effect, really accentuating the colours of the ensemble!

This final one took advantage of some of the beautiful windows of the building for a cool silhouette shot:

I couldn’t help taking some behind-the-scenes pictures myself:

This was SUCH a fun and fascinating experience! I can’t thank Gloria and Mike enough for arranging this and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that we might be able to do it again before my time in DC is up!

Which photographer’s style is your favourite?

8 thoughts on “Plum & Chartreuse at the Portrait Gallery (+ A New Hat!)

  1. I love the entire outfit. That hat is gorgeous and you did such a great job. I actually like all of the photos. Thank You for sharing these portraits.


  2. I am looking at your pictures and the other ladies at the end of December 2020,today I felt flat as a pancake your sharing has made me feel good and I really want to thank you your great I am going to see what you did this year now happy Christmas ladies 2020.


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