fiofiorina: a rather big white linnen headdress (Haube)
[personal profile] fiofiorina
This post resulted out of a comment I wanted to post at [ profile] modehistorique  entry but became too long for a comment, and rather too Off Topic

I think the problem lies into the question: what is a "gothic dress"?

The more I look at late (to very late) 15th century paintings and graphics, there is this very supported look, what moves nearly seamless into the style of early 16th century. Although I must add, I am looking and searching in a very small geographic area - only from Basel to Strasbourg.
Please consider: There is much more than just paintings, graphics, illuminations and woodcuts. Especially in our region, there is a wide spread of limetree-wood sculptures, as well as tapestries.

To the credibility of a painted dress other details add on, not the dress alone:
If a painting shows shoes and pattens, drinking vessels and furnitures very accurately compared to finds by an archeological dig, I am more likely to believe the painter to be an accurate  narrator (I usually ignore hair colours and headdresses, medieval fancywear is mostly on the head...Just look at the socalled "Heiden" or Ladies etc... A lot of fancy wear, and it's a completely different genre to take those apart)

As I said - I base my search on a very small field, but with the advantage of being able to see the source pictures / sculptures / tapestries in real (therefore seeing what is painting, what is a crack in the surface, or seeing shades a photo can't take) I think the conclusions are worth to be written down. One discovers so much details in those sources, and when comparing them to artefacts of the time, I formed a bit a thing what source I believe and what to treat with more care.

Tapestry of Upper Rhine Region: Have a look how her breasts "stick out" - not softly curved, but really sticking out.

Picture of Housbook  - not the waist above the natural level, the cut of the sleeves (very small shoulders) and the very fitted back (and the very straight fringe on her set of "hair")

Meister des Marienlebens (girl in pink dress)

Marienaltar (Staatl. KM Karlsruhe)

Close up: Note the bowl and the spoon. As well as the pillow case. And note the stress on the bodice _under_ the breasts, around the torso, the way the skirt is "hooked up"

Similar "stress-wrinkles" may be noticed here (at the maid's dress of course)
And have a look at her shoulder seams - similar small to the cut of the Housebook dress.

For reference sake - the whole of the picture. Have a look at the maid in the far background, at the fit of her dress. And have a look at the pillowcases, at the shelf with vessels behind the lady holding the baby (I apologize for the quality - it wasn't allowed to take pictures in the exhibition)

The hooked up skirt of the woman with the bowl is just a necessity for working when the dress has overlength, also that the hooked up part in the back is a wee bit smaller... (self experiment by me, as the dress has overlength)

I am not saying, "There are but fitted dresses" - but the use of such fitted dresses for late 15th century in our region seems to be rather intrusive. A lot of unfitted dresses may be seen, usually on "elderly" women, women nursing a baby, saints when slain, pregnant women. But there are a lot of fitted dresses for women in circumstances other than just mentioned.

But as you may have seen, we are a long way of the graceful lines of 14th century clothing, we all adore that much, when seeing on those charming illustrations and tomb brasses (Note - the following three pictures are French & Flemisch, NOT from the Upper-Rhine-Area)
Photobucket Photobucket
or early 15th century  (Duc de Berry)

I think we should make a difference between "wishful thinking", "maybe" and "maybe a bit more". I rate my theorie about _late_ 15th century Upper-Rhine-Region-Bodice-Construction into tha "maybe a bit more" range.

For the 14th century I discovered that I couldn't use my 15th century "very very fitted" pattern, due to the lines. If one would like to reconstruct any period, it's (in my humble opinion) an absolute No-Go! to ignore the lines. It comes always back to the silhouette. Therefore my attempts into 14th century are fitted, but not that much. And differently.
But all comes back to a good fitting about the shoulders and the side seams.
High up, not too wide cut under the armpit(the back is another story) - whether it's pictural-image-fitted, Gothic-fitted, Cotte-simple-fitted, very-much-and-nearly-over-fitted or unfitted at all.

It isn't about costumers vs SCA vs Non-SCA vs Dress-Historians. It's just my musing on (very) late 15th century dresses :-) I could rattle on for hours, but alas, it took my whole lunchbreak already to write these few lines .....

Date: 2009-07-23 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I suspect that my personal preference for the kind of support I get with my own dresses is probably pretty extreme, if it were to be placed on some possible spectrum of dresses in the time period. I do think though that the evidence for lacing is a pretty strong hook on which to hang the concept of "snug", which isn't too far of a leap from "giving some support", but like everyone seems to be violently agreeing, how MUCH support/structure is utterly debatable.

BTW, Robin is the mom of the fully-supportive lace-up concept. It hit us all between the eyes and we were all off to the races. I will never abandon my full-support version -- because it works so well for me and gets me a great 1380-1410 look for France, but I'd've probably muddled along without getting to where I got a bit longer had I not stumbled across Robin's theories.


fiofiorina: a white haired fay in a dark blue dress (Default)

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