Aka, finally a new 12th Night gown, aka Trystan wants a black dress, or more properly, a 1560s Medici-inspired Florentine gown.
But the impetus for this gown is that one of my best friends in the whole world, Sarah Lorraine, was offered membership in the Order of the Laurel in the Society for Creative Anachronism. For those not in the SCA, this is the highest award possible for artisans, it’s equivalent to becoming a knight, & it’s acknowledgement of what a fucking awesome rockstar Sarah is (finally!). There’s a fancy ceremony that admits her into the order, which will happen at 12th Night, the first weekend of January. And we’re dressing up, natch!
It took a while for Sarah to decide what she wanted to wear — we knew it would be 16th century & fabulous, no doubt. But there was debate about English or Italian fashions. Eventually, she went with Italian, as it’s her current fave, & it’s just so pretty. Her SCA heraldic device is in black & white, so she thought she’d wear black & white.
Sarah asked Kendra & I to be part of her ceremony, & we decided to make new dresses since neither of us had existing costumes that seemed quite right. And because we’re silly that way, we decided to play backup singers & wear black & white too! Didn’t hurt that we both had a bunch of perfectly appropriate black & white silks in our respective fabric stashes…
So, I’m taking my inspiration from this portrait of Isabella de Medici, circa 1560 by Bronzino. There’s a full-page print of it in the book Moda de Firenza that I’ve been drooling over. I won’t do an exact reproduction (I never do), but I like this gown’s basic shape, & I especially love the sleeves. I’ll do a split overskirt, which enhances the look of a veste over a sottana — which I simply do not have the time to make, so I’m faking it. Just making one gown & a petticoat. I have a ton of black silk taffeta in The Stash for the gown & a small piece of black silk embroidered with white that I’ll use for the petticoat/forepart that shows. I also have lots of pearls & silver trim that I’ll use.