Wednesday, June 16, 1999

Workshop helps Flying Cloud dancers top off their vintage attire

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Janet Hasson, curator of Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, came to Cincinnati for the Sunday workshop.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        “I really am a shocking hussy,” Janet Watts admitted, looking down at her embroidered white lavender-trimmed, circa 1880s floor-length lawn gown.

        She lifted the skirt to her knees to offer a shocking view: Giving in to circa 1999 sweltering heat, there were no layers of chemise, bloomers, corset and more, just a tasteful pair of white Bermuda shorts.

        Heaven forbid!

        Sunday was the first day of the annual Flying Cloud Vintage Dance Week (continuing through Saturday), during which about 70 dance-inclined locals take a week off work to attend workshops all day and dance the night away in balls themed to the Civil War, the Victorian and Edwardian ages, and the ragtime, Roaring '20s and swing eras.

        About a dozen women, many of them dressed in period style, gathered in the Taft Museum's Music Room Sunday afternoon with one thing on their minds: accessorizing! Shenlei Winkler, head of the Ladies' Tea & Rhetoric Society in New York and editor of bustle magazine, instructed them in the fine art of period ornamentation of evening headpieces.

        “I'm different from a lot of the others,” says Debra Barrett of College Hill. “I go to the balls, as time permits, to time travel. The women who wear headpieces look about three times more accurate.”

        She was intent on matching a headdress to an 1850s style gown that she'd fashioned from a dress she'd found at a garage sale. Start with thrift shops or department stores, she advises, to find a dress with the right lines that can then be torn apart and re-built.

        Ms. Watts showed off her matching straw bonnet and lavender lace parasol. The hat form came from a vintage clothier in Dayton, Ohio, where she lives. She added five layers of lace, a strand of faux pearls and yards of lavender ribbon.

        Ms. Watts blanched when asked if “glue” were any part of the hat-making process. The parasol had a non-vintage aluminum hinged base. Apparently you work with what you have, as long as it isn't hot glue.

        The workshop was a draw even for pros. Janet Hasson, curator of Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, came to Cincinnati specifically for the Sunday workshop. She wore a beautiful antique summer white gown for the occasion.

        While most of Vintage Dance Week takes place on the Miami University campus, it culminates Saturday at the Carnegie in Covington with a wedding ball held by newlyweds Ruth Anne Wolfe and Andy Jewell of Golf Manor.

        Flying Cloud offers dance classes every Wednesday night year-round. More information at or write to: P.O. Box 418113, Cincinnati 45241-8113;


100 today, and still going strong
Love to face death penalty
CAC named for Rosenthals
City manager's job future hinges on evaluation
Suburban struggle: Where to find child care
Child-care ideas span the state
Air Care choppers won't fly in thick fog
Teen shot in argument over $2
Airport growth on hold
Budget gains a new chunk
Computer files bring indictment
Drug chief spared DUI conviction
Fairfield teen will meet with president in July
Luken's learning curve leads back to politics
Reforestation planned for preserves hit by tornado
Translator bridges gap to refugees' new world
Don't let summer scratch and burn
Survey: Men more reluctant to see doctor
Vibrations can be good for healing
- Workshop helps Flying Cloud dancers top off their vintage attire
Area governors urged to cooperate
Boone fights ozone testing
Camp lays new career paths
Councilman charges police harassment
Donors honored for remembering charities
Effort to help families gets $529,000
Housing project problems heard
Jacksonburg revels in its size
Job draws lawyers from area, abroad
kids taken from dead boy's home
Lakota forms maintenance plan
Mason will pay township $71,000 tab
Perfect attendance reflects student's will
Proposed housing, runway raise concerns
Shores' litter targeted in 11th River Sweep
Wayne schools selecting chief