Here is audial inspiration a plenty for a Belle Epoque gown. Ideally, one should try to gather as much sensory information as possible about a period when working on a costume, so as to immerse oneself in the aesthetics. Here are some excellent songs for a Belle Epoque project:
L’Heure Exquise by Hahn. Absolutely stunning, on so many levels… and the video is filled with a gorgeous montage of Belle Epoque portraiture. As an aside, Annick Goutal’s perfume by the same name does an outstanding job at replicating the proportions and peaks of it’s namesake’s beautiful and best qualities. 1890 (?)
Gymnopedie No. 1 by Satie. Of course. An all time favorites. Imagine a picnicing Belle Epoque couple on the banks of a slow moving river in the gold of late summer. Luxurious without pretense, mind-numbingly soft, slowed movement. 1888
Quartet by Ravel. Listen to the whole thing if you have a chance. 1903
Tallis Fantasia by Vaughan Williams. Part 1. One of the most beautiful pieces of music. Period. Combines layered Elizabethan drama and significance with the effortless legato drape of the Belle Epoque. 1912
Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams. Part 1. 1914. Like Heure Exquise and Beau Soir, it too was inspired by a poem.
Back to work…