SCA???? Heraldry AND costuming???? Head popping up out of pothole car just drove into (don't ask!)
The garb in Ever After is actually Italian in style - late 15th, maybe early 16th. The French wore what was basically the English Tudor style, with variations. The various German principalities wore the high-waisted style into the 1520s. So you probably wouldn't have seen a native-born French-woman wearing that style.
Yes, a lot of movies take liberties with period styles, esp in the fantasy genre. So they're not your best source. Go to the books - or artists of the period - for better inspiration. Although I HAVE used the Simplicity Ever After pattern, with alterations, for one of my favorite Italian/German gowns.
That being said (pulling on heraldic sash), you can mix nationalities in the SCA - as long as it's something that could have occured in period. The various Italian states had a lot of contact with France - friendly or otherwise... You could easily be part Italian & part French, living in whichever country suited your parents. It's done a lot, trust me.
As for names, your best bet is to consult with your group's herald. It's their job & they have access to all the resources you could possibly ever need. We tend to discourage using baby name books, due to the simple fact they have nothing to verify the dates a name was in use.
Sources that are very good:
The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names (aka Withycombe's). Easily available at a library & a staple in any herald's collection. Yes, it's says English, but you can find a variety of names with French origins in there as well.
Baron Modar's Heraldry Page - http://www2.kumc.edu/itc/staff/rknight/heraldry.htm
One of the most knowledgeable heralds in our kingdom. His site has links to just about all the good stuff you need to know.
The Academy of St. Gabriel - http://www.s-gabriel.org/index.html
One of the best sources for period names of all sorts.
Hope this helps.
Jantije Goudenpaard/Eleanor Proudfoot
(mka Jean Dewey)
--- In F-Costume@yahoogroups.com, "JessicaR" <wise_yoda_dude@...> wrote:
> I know it's a little off-topic, since it's not really fantasy, but I have some questions about the costumes in Ever After. Well, it's sort-of fantasy, I guess...
> I have just started getting involved with the SCA, and I need to come up with a time, place of origin, and name. I love the style of gowns used in the film. I'm having a little trouble really classifying their period and country of origin. I'd like to be French (since I remember my high school French so well when drunk (: ), but the only things I find like them are Italian. The movie took place in France though, and I do know styles moved through Europe during the Renaissance. I want to know time, though, so I can be as historically correct as possible.
> So, basically, I want a little help in finding what time period such dresses would be in France. I like the high waist (skirts hide bellies, hips, and thighs so well) with the low, scooped necks.
> PS, if anyone is knowledgeable on French female names of the time, some resources on that would also be appreciated.
> ~ The Master Procrastinator, Jessica