When I decided I wanted to do a series involving the greatest queens and noble figures in history, it’s no surprise Queen Elizabeth I was the first that popped into my head. This happened for two main reasons; I truly think Elizabeth I is one of the most recognizable queens in history, and Annika was in town from college (best redhead model ever).
I had a limited amount of time in which to construct an ensemble for Annika to have, so as usual Hobby Lobby became my place of refuge. It’s amazing what ribbon alone can produce. In order to make the Elizabethan collar pictured, I used a wide roll of black lace that also had texture on the outside rim for an extra dramatic flair. Using a mannequin as my stand in for Elizabeth I, I draped the ribbon around the neckline four times and made sure each layer was placed higher than the previous in order to create more height, volume, and texture. The pieces of ribbon were then sewn together. I made sure I picked a ribbon with a thick hem for it to be sturdier while standing up and easier for me (a complete and utter novice when it comes to sewing) to sew it all together. The entire piece was then pinned in place on a simple, strapless black dress that served as the base for the entire costume.
The main skirt was produced using 15 yards of black tulle which was sewn onto a thick wire frame ribbon in order to attach to the waistline with more ease. Instead of attaching the remaining parts of ribbon securely to the front of the dress, I let the pieces just fall and curl along the front of the dress for a ringlet effect similar to her hairstyle. The attempt at making a gigantic hoop skirt was successful but in the end, I just didn’t like how it turned out (sorry Dad construction man). Sometimes you have to just accept that the original plan isn’t what you were meant to do. I much preferred the flowing nature of the tulle when left alone and the ringlet effect it had on the ribbon as a result of this.
The hair and makeup was a twist on the traditional norm of the Elizabethan era. Ashlyn did create a gorgeous eye palette with white liner and dark gray/black for definition that still gave our Elizabeth I a clean but powerful appearance. The volume of her hair is also lovely and indicative of the time period the model is inspired by. The elaborate heap of curls and placement of pearls in a symmetrical fashion fully emphasize the characteristics of Elizabeth’s classic look.
Then there’s the addition of the sweetest, most darling, perfect angel of a model Lafayette (moms are biased, give me a break). He was not suppose to be involved with the production at all. I thought the distraction of his Harrod’s squeaky bone would leave him joyously entertained. Mothers should always know that their little ones will always want their attention. So, he managed to try and pester Annika for love during the shoot which she graciously endured the entire time. He did manage to put his best paw forward and pose delightfully in many of the shots. If I had known this would happen beforehand, an Elizabethan dog collar could easily have been constructed for his use! I also allowed him to interfere because he and Annika have the same hair color. It was too perfect to ignore.