Date: 2009-07-23 05:49 pm (UTC)
As for the fitted dresses, I’ll put this in a separate comment off the root of the entry.

I'm not sure that anybody that has really studied this has said "this is the one and only right way of doing things." I’ll certainly grant that there are people who would look at somebody like Tasha or Robin, or even me within my own groups, and do it because we’re doing it and teaching it, and treat it like gospel. Or they might even say “THEY said it was done this way…” but I think that most people doing the serious research would say “it’s a possibility”, and that’s all.

I think there’s a pretty big difference between saying that something is just a possibility versus a reenactorism. To me, “reenactorism” means that people are doing it because they’ve seen other people doing it, but that it’s pretty much outright wrong (or rather, there’s little to no evidence to back it up at all). Like wearing a nice warm hood over a v-neck gown – people do it because they’ve seen others do it, but there’s no evidence, archeological, textual, or pictorial to suggest such a combination.

But the fitted dress, while not really supported in the rather scarce archaeological record, does seem to at least meet what some of the images *look* like, which makes it more than a reenactorism such as the hood example. Because really, the archaeological record for this time period is pretty scarce. If we had dozens of examples, from a variety of areas (the Greenland examples don’t really say much about what was or wasn’t done in England and France), then the lack of supportive dress would say something. But as it is, almost everything that we do is a guess, to some extent. I do also have some textual references that I’d use as *very light* justification, but I don’t have them gathered or with me here. One day I’ll have to put them all together.

I should be clear that when I say it “looks like the art”, I’m definitely talking only about certain late 14th century examples (The La Belle Compagnie timeframe is 1380, at the earliest, with several later scenarios that we pull for some events). For the 1340s, I completely agree that it’s unlikely a fitted dress. It doesn’t *look* like a fitted dress, at very least.

“Close to look” possibility? Sure. Completely agree. Reenactorism? That, to me, at least, suggests that it’s outright wrong, and considering the body of all evidence that we do have, I don’t think that’s a correct assertion either. My opinion only, of course. :-D

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July 2009

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