> Hey group, first time poster long time lurker. I was hoping to get a
> little authenticity feedback on my first attempt at garb.
> What I'm concerned with is the utilization of buttons for the
> fastenings. The research I've done suggests that yes buttons were
> around, but I can't find many picture references where they're in use
> I have this strange anxiety about showing up at my first event with
> less than decent garb, which is why I wanted to run it by you guys
> first before I set into the muslin.
I'm going to take you at your word, and make what comments I can about
authenticity. That's different, however, from commenting on whether
you'll look "less than decent" in your garb. I want to make sure
you're clear that you, yourself, are the sole arbiter and judge of what
constitutes sufficient authenticity in your gear. If you made a dress
like the one in the sketch you sent and wore it to an event around
here, you'd get nothing but complements.
The image you sent resembles, more than anything else medieval with
which I'm familiar, what's known in the S.C.A. as a cotehardie (a sort
of variation on the Gothic Fitted Dress). If this is the look you want
and you haven't visited the La Cotte Simple website
>, I urge you to do so. It's an
excellent and extensive treatment of this sort of gown and
plausibly-medieval underpinnings you can wear with one to get the
silhouette you see in artwork from the late 14th through early 15th
century. (Modern underwear can make the most carefully-constructed
period gown look really, really, modern, so the underpinnings are
important if you're concerned about authenticity.) You'll see that the
shape is a little different from what you've drawn, but the overall
"feel" is very similar.
"How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Layers" lays out the
author's evidence for and reasoning in coming up with the approach she
suggests. It includes a number of period images. Some of them show
women with buttons down their fronts and sleeves, but the author
asserts that these are usually part of two different layers--the
"versatile gown" that supports the bust having buttons on the sleeves
and the "restricted gown" worn over it having buttons down the front.
There are a few pieces of period art she's found that seem to show both
on a single gown (those are presented in the "sidebar" on cotehardies),
but it seems to be an unusual approach. It's done much more in the
S.C.A. than it appears to have been in period.
To consult with folks who really know their stuff where authentic garb
is concerned, you might consider visiting the Med Cos forums
>. (There's a whole
gallery of photos of women in cotehardies under "14th Century".) Or
you might join the S.C.A. Garb Yahoo! Group
>. There are people in both
groups who have put a lot of time and energy into learning all they can
about these sorts of dresses and are eager to share what they know.
Welcome to the Society! I hope you have scads of fun making and
wearing your gown.
Barony of Bryn Gwlad
Kingdom of Ansteorra