All posts tagged: 1500s

A gentleman’s handkerchief (or, the most pitiful HSF item I will make all year)

I have finally finishes an item for the HSF Gentlemen challenge (well, actually I finished it on Wed the 3rd), but I have very ambivalent feelings about counting it. This is my hand sewn, 16th century blackwork embroidered linen handkerchief: Only it isn’t. Why not?  And why am I so hesitant to include it? Because it is completely and utterly historically inaccurate. Yes, it’s linen.  And it’s handsewn. And the embroidery uses period stitches, and a motif taken from a period source.  And the lace isn’t too bad as a modern approximation of a late Renaissance lace. The handkerchief is, in fact, the perfect example of how you can use period materials, and period techniques, and period inspiration, but end up with something that is just a terrible, un-historical pastiche. The problem is that I depended on memory rather than checking my sources.  I knew that there were numerous 16th century portraits that show women holding handkerchiefs, some plain, some with blackwork, some with lace (this seems to be most common in Spanish portraits).  I …

Rate the Dress: Il Baroccio’s Young Man

Last week I showed you a red velvet spencer dress, and your reactions to it were either extremely positive, or extremely not.  I have to admit that expanse of checked velvet was pretty full on, and that can be very much a good thing, or very much a bad thing, but it was definitely VERY MUCH a thing!  The rating came in at 7.7777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777 (ad infinitum) out of 10, which I feel nicely matched the quirkyness of the spencer! This week we’ll stick with patterned velvet (probably – I’m guessing at what our young gentlemen’s doublet is made from) and ornamental buttons as we look at Barocci’s young man. The Young Man is dressed in a very rich and impressive outfit, and carries an equally impressive sword, but this portrait always makes me giggle just a little bit anyway, because his not-very-impressive beard and mustache are so timeless.  You could imagine him in a T-shirt and jeans today, trying SO HARD to grow that facial hair. So hair aside, what do you think of the Young …

Rate the Dress: Élisabeth de Valois

Last week I was away and couldn’t follow the comments on the 1890s purple satin & velvet ensemble as they came in.  I thoroughly enjoyed catching up on them, and wonder if everyone who wrote ” _ out of 10, for sheer gumption/outrageousness/grumba/brio (etc.)” noticed that more than half the comments ended with a variant of that phrase!  Generally you approved of it for its richness and detail and for the character who would wear it, though you invariably disliked the front buttons (for the record, I’m 90% sure that they are turquoise, which was extremely fashionable at the time, and as far as I am concerned they rescue the entire outfit.  Without them the suit is direly overdone and stuffy and predictable – but clearly I’m in the minority, because it managed an 8.3 out of 10) Continuing on the rich, velvety, and sumptuous theme, let’s look at Élisabeth de Valois, in her full glory as a French princess married to a Spanish king.  Élisabeth, the eldest daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine …