Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fashion plates

From Dover's Historic Costume in Pictures. Braun & Schneider

Frankish illustrations (noted as such in the book as 10th and 11th century) from a new acquisition on historic costumes. Love this period as the women sported long braided hair, so much more flattering than the severity of later centuries when wimples/veils covered the hair. Reminds me of the costumes in Hamlet, one of my (many) favorite period films!


  1. Oh, BRING IT ON! This has to be my favorite period. I watch every movie ever made in this period. One of my favorites is Lion in Winter with Catharine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. The acting is hard to beat and the period, so eery and rude. I love it. Thanks for the terminology as well; wimples are so interesting. Did they have a practical use? Anita

  2. Anita - Have you seen the newer version of Lion in Winter with Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart? 'tis excellent too and visually stunning.

  3. Not to mention King Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is in the new one ;)

    I have a friend, Traci, in the SCA. She colors her hair a very signature and beautiful bright crayola red, and for her recent coronation, she had a friend track down extensions in her color, which she braided in with her own hair and ribbons. I love how it turned out!

  4. JRM was a good Phillip in this version.

    Wow, your friend's hair is lovely as is her gown. How does she get that hair color by the "SCA-police"?

  5. So fun! And great photo of her. Where did you find this photo?
    Happy Sunday!

  6. Kirsten
    Thanks! Both of those are screen grabs from the movie Hamlet.

  7. I must see the new version of Lion in Winter! Thanks!! Anita

  8. amazing crowns...Glenn looks so 'right' in that role!

  9. Jen -
    The book has centuries worth of gowns + crowns:)

  10. Lisa,

    Not sure, but she must succeed, since she's the current queen of her kingdom!! I suspect her realm is pretty accepting.

  11. Love the illustrations! I read once that the braids (trecheure) were tipped with metal
    and plaited with leather strips or ribbon. I wonder what material they used
    for their clothing? Wool? I especially love her crown in the 3rd illustration, the 'flat' style....

  12. Mary
    I love that one too and wow, their hair would have been so heavy. My own is about hip length right now and that is heavy enough:)
    Fabrics were most likely wool, linen.

  13. I think I've commented on your cat's name before, but I have to say again that I love the idea of dedicating a whole blog to medieval fashion and art. Therefore I've tagged you with the Lemonade Award - it may not quite fit into your era, but I hope you still enjoy it!


    PS: Rules are here:

  14. Thank you so much poet. Cats and costumes are both near and dear to my heart.

    I'm not sure how to grab the award, but I appreciate it!

  15. Just to note for the Original Poster, the book those plates are taken from is way out of date and not accurate by any stretch. (The book, which I can't remember the title and author of- is pretty well disregarded by SCA costumers, and not considered at all by the academic community.) A lot of stuff is incorrectly labeled as to period, and all of it is re-drawings, which as highly subject to the artist and to the time the artist is drawing.

    As an example, that last plate is very clearly drawn from the statues on the portals of the Cathedral at Chartres. But there's been alterations. *And* they are not Frankish, but 12th c French, which is about 3-4 centuries out of the 'Frankish' era.

    There's other serious problems. Some of the 14th c stuff makes me put my head on my desk.

    What is best, if you really fall in love with a particular picture, is to take it to a local costumer and say "Where does this come from? Do you have a picture of the statue or illumination?" They are very likely to have it, and you can end up with a piece of clothing rather than a Victorian costume.

    Just my two livres, from an old used costumer,


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  17. Liutgard of Luxeuil - Thanks for the all the great information!! From my experiences with any local costumers (and my own creations), costuming is not an attempt to create historic accuracy, but more fantasy inspired by the past.

    Certainly, the same holds true for the movie industry. (comment edited)