I’ve started a new project in my studio module where instead of being given a brief to interpret and work with we have to decide what to do ourselves and in effect write our own brief. I was tempted to continue the Valentine project theme and but after some thought I wanted to explore something that’s always attracted and interested me, the “stuff” on the dressing table. That was my initial idea and since then I’ve had to consider it more and be more specific about what it is that interests me. I thought I would look into “The Boudoir” and the history behind it as well as from an aesthetic viewpoint.
The Boudoir comes from the French verb “Bouder”- to be sulky or “Boudeur”- sulky, a lady’s private bedroom, sitting room or dressing room.
“Historically, the boudoir formed part of the private suite of rooms of a lady, for bathing and dressing, adjacent to her bedchamber. In later periods, the boudoir was used as a private drawing-room, and was used for other activities, such as embroidery or spending time with one’s romantic partner.
English language usage varies between countries, and is now largely historical. In the United Kingdom, in the period when the term was most often used (Victorian era and early 20th century), a boudoir was a lady’s evening sitting room, and was separate from her morning room, and her dressing room. As this multiplicity of rooms with overlapping functions suggests, boudoirs were generally only found in grand houses. In the United States, in the same era, boudoir was an alternative term for dressing room, favored by those who felt that French terms conferred more prestige.
In Caribbean English, a boudoir is the front room of the house where women entertain family and friends.”
So historically only the upper class would have a Boudoir and this is reflected in the way the boudoir is seen today, lavishly decorated with luxury fabrics, furnishing and cosmetics. Boudoir style photography is currently popular where photo shoots take place with the aim of capturing the essence of feminine beauty.
Some of my initial inspiration or a mini mood board
Nicola Reid – Powder Puff Neck piece
Jo Pond – Narrative Collection
Helena Lindholm – Narrative Collection
Jill Baker Gower – Blush Ring
I’ve also started looking at the meaning of flowers and in particular the Lotus Flower – often a symbol of divine beauty, elegance, purity and grace and an allegory of perfect feminine attributes!
I hope to develop this into a fabric pattern design and use it in some way towards my jewellery piece.
The next thing to do is get into the workshop and experiment with some ideas for fastenings. At this stage I’m not sure how it will all progress but I hope to make something that I like and that I feel will be admired by others. I’ll up date you as soon as I’ve made some more progress.