Jane Austen with Wings

Fairies weren’t terribly popular in Jane Austen’s Regency England. Fairies would wait another generation, until firmly into the Victorian era, for their PR transformation from pesky to ethereal. Yet fairy wings attached to an empire waist gown is such a lovely juxtapose, we couldn’t resist. And to to create wings out of the actual pages of Ms. Austen’s work? We admire and cheer…

Katherine (better known as koshka the cat), blogger on The Fashionable Past, cleverly channeled the fairy in Jane Austen, and shared a tutorial on how to create these fabulous fairy wings (below) out of the pages of Northanger Abbey, Austen’s first novel.

For your own wings, might we recommend including this quote from Chapter Eight of Emma?:

Mr. Woodhouse came in, and very soon led to the subject again, by the recurrence of his very frequent inquiry of “Well, my dears, how does your book go on? Have you got anything fresh?”

“Yes, papa; we have something to read to you, something quite fresh. A piece of paper was found on the table this morning—(dropped, we suppose, by a fairy)—containing a very pretty charade, and we have just copied it in.”

Wings on Jane Austen come in small size, too. Dorothy Jane, creator of all kinds of vintage-inspired ephemera, including a series of Jane Austen fairy ornaments (below), not to mention bookmarks, gift tags, and journals. Adorned with glitter, crystals, and pearls, this is a magical Jane you can admire all year long!

Your Regency fairy need not be Jane-centric. Simply working the fashion of the time period with wings (and other fairy accoutrements) rarely falters. And there are practical reasons to go with a Regency-inspired costume, too—while Renaissance and Victorian inspiration are more traditional for summer fantasy festival costumes, the light fabrics and short sleeves from are much better suited to spending all day dancing in the sunshine.

The three-woman musical group Lady Georginanna, adding impromptu fairy wings to classic regency fashions