This is a (fairly rough) interpretation of a late fifteenth
century italien gown, worn by my younger sister through the faire season last
year. It is probably more Hollywood than factual. The decorated triangle on
the front of the bodice should really be a decorated front panel under an over-gown,
but we cheated (significantly) and applied the decoration directly to the front
of the gown. The front edges of the split skirt are tacked to a piece of fine
gold netting, which prevents them from flapping open in the breeze. (If you
have a gown without a farthingale, and are not concerned with authenticity,
this is not a bad solution and it looks quite nice, especially over a cream
colored undergown like you see here.) The reason we did this is that the undergown
itself is actually just a front panel – my sister was quite specific about not
wanting to die of heat. The gauntlets and armbands lace together so that puffs
of the chemise can come through.
The veil is gold organza edged with a gold point lace. It is
attached to what amounts to a flat french hood, decorated with fake pearls and
Overall, this one probably gets a D- in authenticity, but it
looked quite nice in sunshine and it made my sister happy. Sometimes, that’s
all that really counts.
The second thumbnail
is a larger picture with the above costume in it. It is me and Lolo, looking
a bit parboiled after a full day at Bristol in August.