Thursday, 4 June 2015

And now for something completely different.

A while ago I found a painting on Pinterest. I was looking for something else entirely, but it grabbed my attention and I've not been able to get it out of my head since.

Photo taken from this website.

So, as a brief pause in the making of male Tudor clothing (musn't forget to post about the finished jerkin and puffy pants), I'm going to attempt some late 15th-century female Florentine clothing. You know, 'cause I have all that free time.

I've never made anything like this before, so the first attempt is probably going to be All Wrong. We'll see. First step is research. I've spent a chunk of my day collecting paintings of women in similar clothing. The first thing I've noticed is that the approximate date of this painting seems to be about 10-15 years off. Paintings of women in this style all appear to originate in the 1480s and 1490s, so I'm going to work with that.


Of course there's a linen chemise (which I ought not to call a chemise but a camicia), because I need more linen undergarments in my life. The Tudor shirt won't work, since the neckline is radically different, but I do have a German chemise that goes under a Cranach gown that has disappeared somewhere in my mother's house. It has the round neckline and the puffy sleeves, and although it's gathered into a slight ruffle rather than a whitework band, it'll do as a starting point. (Did I mention I'm hoping to pull this outfit together by the beginning of August?)

Hmm. Possibly I need more sun...

Some of the portraits have some sort of contrasting panel over the camicia underneath the bust lacing. Some clearly don't, based on the way the layer of white fabric is bunched up. Since I'm going to be wearing this in August, I'd rather have as few layers as possible.

Over the camicia I'll be wearing a gown with a front-lacing bodice, then. I'm not entirely sure what's going on with the bars at the top of the laced opening. They look like brass rods, and then lacing cord underneath with some sort of brooch/ornament/flower tucked under.

The sash and sleeves look to me to be made of black velvet. The sleeves are in two pieces, laced together at the elbow and forearm. It's not clear how they're attached to the dress. They do seem to be attached only at a single point, though, which to me implies that they are either pinned on or laced on. If they were sewn there would be more of a flat seam than the single point of connection that's visible here.

There's a sheer silk partlet over the top of the bodice.

She's wearing a round pendant that appears to be metal, strung onto some sort of black cord that's looped twice around her throat. She also has on a single ring that appears to be set with a stone or stones.

She's got a really unusual cap on. Although the hairstyle is what seems to be the usual Florentine 'do for this period, the caps are usually plain linen. This appears to be either lace or sheer embroidered silk.

And although they're not visible, I will need some sort of shoes and stockings. More research there, since I've no idea what would be appropriate.

Eventually I'll need one of the loose overgowns, too. Not by August, though. I'm ambitious, not insane.

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