Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lady Estelle T. Barada

New Rochelle, New York

“A true Victorian upholds and values morality and decorum. These are something to learn and endure. It is a state of being, not a club or society.”

As a young girl, Lady Estelle would pretend to go to England and visit the Queen. Now as an adult she has become the true Victorian lady that she has always dreamed of. This passionate woman loves the etiquette and decorum of the Victorian days. She also appreciates her wholesome upbringing and family life.

Lady Estelle describes herself as an adventurous person. She loves attending many functions, like tea and garden parties. She visits museums, flower shows and social events dressed in her Victorian attire. Her passion for Victorian history started when she was a young girl. “I would dream and pretend I was from a wealthy family and could dress in fancy clothes. I would pretend to go to England to visit the Queen. It was from an old nursery rhyme I loved.”

Her mother and father were ordinary and God loving people. They raised three daughters the best they could. Her father was a handyman and her mother was a housekeeper for a wealthy family in Scarsdale, New York. “ My mother passed away at a young age, leaving my father to care for us girls on his own. He was unable to do this, so we were sent to live in a home for children, run by the Catholic Church. It was a wholesome upbringing.”

Lady Estelle works in the hospitality business, catering, tea parties and special events. “My tea room is open for taking of tea and relaxing, listening to music, to read, or just converse with friends."You can always email Lady Estelle for a "Time For Tea" with her!

She also teaches young girls from the ages of 6 to 16 about etiquette and fashions of the Victorian era, which helps them with the pressures of today's society. Lady Estelle started this adventure five years ago. She explained, “I was giving tea parties for my family and Red Hat friends and it was suggested that I dress the part of a Victorian Lady. After much research and meeting many living history re-enactors, I began living the part on a daily basis. My passion for the era and fashion have helped me stay true as an authentic Victorian Lady."

What she loves the most about the Victorian era is that she has found it to be a very romantic time. “The men were so stately and the women were so proper.”

We asked her what it entails to become a true Victorian lady. “A true Victorian upholds and values morality and decorum. These are [things] to learn and endure. It is a state of being, not a club or society.”

She admits that she can’t live without her corset, which is what makes her outfit look it's best. “A true Victorian would not get dresses without it. I also wear many petticoats. On some occasions I will wear a hoop. It would depend on how spacious the event was and if I would be comfortable.”

This Victorian Lady also loves wearing very large hats. Lady Estelle mentioned that the era dictates that you wear a hat and gloves when going out. Some of her wardrobe was acquired from friends and family. And most of her dresses are ordered.

Lady Estelle lives in an old Providence apartment building over looking the city. The building was built in the early 1900's. She describes it as having very high ceiling and large parlor windows. “It has a lovely built-in china cabinet in the dining room. The apartment still has the old cozy charm of it's era. I have decorated my home to reflect my lifestyle. Lots of lace and doilies. Many pictures of ladies in nineteenth century dress grace the walls.”

Lady Estelle had purchased some things of vintage reproduction because she finds the authentic too costly. “I do collect tea pots, cup and tea items. I will spend more for them than I should.”

What inspires Lady Estelle in life are her children.

What are Lady Estelle’s favorite vintage places that inspire her? “I am at home in a tea parlor, museum, antique shop, or flea market.”

We also asked her what she would like to bring home from the past. “The etiquette and decorum of the Victorian days. When men open doors for women, when people enjoyed an old fashion picnic and bike riding.”

Victorian Societies that Lady Estelle belongs to:

VLS Victorian Ladies Society

Rhode Island Historical Society

Red Hat Society

Lady Estelle's Victorian Tea Society

Copyright © 2009-2010 Time Warp Wives

Lady Estelle

Contact Information:

My website: A Step Back in Time
It is compiled with information on the life and style of a Victorian and how to reenact the era. I also have a tea lover's blog where you can join to socialize with other members with a passion for tea. We share recipes, tea event and tea swaps.

My favorite website is: http://www.victoriana.com/