Fabulous Fashions of 1812 Fashion Show

I attended a fantastic event this past weekend with some fabulous friends Jaclyn and Sally.

The Maryland Historical Society hosted a Fashion Show featuring fashions from 1812 as well as modern-day adaptations. The show “starred” Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte (Napoleon ElizabethPattersonBonaparte-225x300Bonaparte’s very fashionable sister-in-law) and other Baltimore natives. I’ve lived in Baltimore since 2008 and I have to admit that I was somewhat ignorant to this beautiful lady’s connection to the city I now call home. I was intrigued to learn that she was born and raised in Baltimore and in 1803 she married Jerome Bonaparte (Napoleon’s brother). Betsy quickly became known for her risqué taste in fashion, starting with her wedding dress, she was truly an independent thinker and a trend setter. Her story then becomes tragic as her emperor brother-in-law disapproves of her and their marriage and ultimately convinces Jerome to leave Betsy and marry another woman (before their marriage was dissolved no less). She spent her remaining days in Baltimore with her son and died in 1879 at the age of 94.



Elizabeth Patterson’s Wedding Dress, described as a dress so small that it “would fit easily into a gentleman’s pocket.” Image courtesy of MET

We were encouraged to “dress up” and you know that I need no excuse to don a fantastic outfit for an event. I choose an olive green dress that was custom made for me on Eshaki.com My fascinator was thrifted at BMore Betty in Federal Hill. My cream cotton beaded gloves I obtained from Pinup Girl Clothing Boutique, and my 1920’s brooch, I found at an estate sale. My shoes are 1930’s style dance shoes from Aris Allen and my pearl necklace were a gift from a friend.

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Jaclyn and me being photographed after the show