Sunday, February 26, 2017

In Progress: White Leather Drawstring Pouch

In my effort to dive as deep into my collection of 563 images of women from French manuscripts of the early 15th century, I have started the process of looking beyond dress and headdress formats to the details and accessories that appear as well. Shoes, belts, aprons, and pouches are everyday personal items that show up through the image collection, and, unsurprisingly, appear to follow somewhat similar patterns of style differences among the classes as the gown and headdress types do. The more exciting thing about these types of details is that they show up in smaller, digestible quantities that offer us the chance to see all of the examples together for comparisons and categorization. The first accessory I did this with were the pouches.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Project Complete: Red Wool Cote


A supportive cote of wool suitable as the bottom or middle fashion layer for early 15th century outfits.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

In Progress: Red Wool Cote

Immediately following Pennsic, it was clear that I'd lost just the right amount of weight that my brand new supportive pattern wasn't actually as supportive. One the one hand, that's not a terrible problem to have, but on the other, it meant that I couldn't skip making some additional adjustments to my pattern before moving on to the next dress.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century Part 3 continued

Today we come to the end of our look at the things that distinguish an early 15th Century (French/English) outfit from the periods of fashion surrounding it. Last time, we looked at upper class headdress and identified the general zones in which late 14th Century, and mid-15th Century hats occupied, and how the upper class styles between them sat in a transitional space between them. This week, we end by looking at the headdress of the lower classes: open hood and veiling.

Composition de la sainte Écriture, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Français 425, circa 1400-1410, fol.115r.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century Part 3

So now we've come to the third part of my mini-series on what distinguishes early 15th Century women's clothing from the styles before and after it. I've been looking primarily at French clothing, as that's my area of study, but there is room for some of what we've looked at to apply beyond France's borders. In Part 1, we discovered that the later Gothic 15th Century silhouette is generally curvier. In Part 2, we determined that either no lacing, or at least inconspicuous dress lacing will provide a more accurate look than visible lacing. Today we'll take a look at headdress.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century: Part 2

Notice something missing? (Source)
Last post, we started looking at what makes early 15th century clothing different and distinguishable from the clothing styles before and after it. In Part 1, I talked about the basic difference in silhouette. The early 15h century ideal shape was generally curvier. In this post, part 2, I want to talk about another distinguishing feature that makes early 15th century women's fashion distinguishable. Actually, it's the lack of a feature we're going to be talking about.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century: Part 1

The Book of the Queen (BL MS Harley 4431) fol. 290
You might recall at the beginning of the year, I laid out the basics of women's clothing as depicted in French manuscripts from the first portion of the 15th century. Through that quick outline, it was easy to see the styles of dress appropriate to different classes of women, and also to see how layering was used during the period to create more depth and style. The thing that exercise didn't identify, however, was where those styles might differ from the period of fashion directly ahead of them, as well as those directly behind. What makes those styles distinguished (and distinguishable) from other fashions in the Middle Ages?