Fashion from former times alive and well with Annalise
AN obsession with hand-crafted historical fashion has put Casino’s Annalise Burton on the receiving end of high praise from teachers and colleagues.
The 20 year old seamstress has completed her third year at TAFE studying costume design and has just handed in her final major work - a four-layered velvet damask gown inspired by King Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn.
Inspired by history
And you can see from the beautiful photos, shot by Casino business partners Candice Gifford and Amy Gabriel of Pure Lustre Photography at Uki’s Castle on the Hill, that this re-creation - worn so comfortably by Casino model Georgie King - is quite the picture.
The period dress, dating from the 1530s, piqued the imagination of this aspiring designer after watching the movie ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’.
But to turn the costume into reality took eight weeks of intense work, from studying the history to drawing a design to creating patterns and finally sewing it up.
Heavily worn dress
The dress weighs 10kg and despite rumours that future fashion will favour more cloth and less skin, there is no doubt in Ms Burton’s mind that this dress will not find favour amongst summer beach goers.
“It is hot and heavy,” she said.
And no wonder: The dress has four layers beginning with a linen chemise, that in itself would pass mustre. The embroidery on the neck and wrists took two weeks of intense concentration.
“But it was worth it,” Ms Burton said.
Plenty of layers
Next comes the Farthingale - a big hoop skirt incorporating electrical cable filler instead of whalebone.
Over this lies the kirtle, a corsett with nylon ‘boning’ attached to a skirt.
“In the day it was all about flat chests popping out on top,” Ms Burton explained. “It’s good for posture because you can’t bend over!”
On top of all these under-garments goes the velvet damask, a gown with Arabic patterns woven into the cloth . A 60cm train hangs off the back and faux fur at the sleeves finishes it off.
Not for sale
“I’m fairly attached to it,” says Annalise, explaining why she probably won’t give the item away.
Now she has a choice of future directions. She could continue building her home business, Sabihah Couture, which specialises in custom kids’ clothing for christenings, weddings and the like - or she might apprentice with a theatre group.
Already she has booked herself in to do work experience with the Theatre at Surrey Hills.
Whatever she decides, this young designer - inspired by her high school teacher and her seamstress grandmother - has the talent to go far.