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Regency Reticules at the Costume Institute

The new exhibition at the Met Costume Institute includes these small purses or reticules, which were commissioned from a knitwear designer named Liria Pristine who by the way has also worked on some huge films like Mary Queen of Scots, Little Women, and of course, Autumn de Wilde’s Emma as de Wilde is the person who designed this installation. The reticules were reproductions of those fashionable during the regency, and even just the act of making or “netting” them was also a fashionable activity. You can actually see one in process in this c. 1805 portrait. This and other forms of needlework are discussed in Hillary Davidson’s book “Dress in the Age of Jane Austen,” including direct examples from the Austen family.


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