- Ladies and Gents,
I know the whole petticoats vs farthingales has probably been brought
up before when it comes to the 16th c Italian dress. However, I came
across a quote that got me thinking and puts a third option on the
table. On page 131 in QEI's wardrobe unlock'd, there is a paragraph
that states "In 1565 Walter Fyshe made 'a vencian gowne of crimsen
velvet the ground satten for Elizabethe Knowles layed with iij silver
laces the skyrtes lyned with buckeram and cotton with fustian in the
bodies and frise in the ruffes the slevis drawne out with silver
It's the line "skyrtes lyned with buckeram" that gets my attention.
It would make more sense, to me, to use that as a way to "puff" the
skirts out that using a gazillion petticoats (it's Italy, it's warm).
It would also explain the sparse evidence (if any?) for farthingales
being used in Italy. Buckram would be stiff enough to give a bit of a
puff without the need for petticoats or a farthingale.
Any other thoughts? Anyone heard of this being tried before?
- Ah Ha! I found it MYSELF! lol!
it's basically taffeta!
woo hoo! Knowledge!
--- In Italian_Renaissance_Costuming@yahoogroups.com, "Arianna Steffia dOvste"
> Just more questions.
> I am curious what silver Sarceonet' is...
- I would whole-heartedly agree with this working theory, with the
caveat that a bit of investigation be done into what they were
refering to as buckeram.......because there is a part of my memory
that is jangeling making me think that their version was markedly
different from what we contemporarily think of as buckram. One of the
reasons I have always thought that rope stiffened, quilted, or
buckeram re-enforced petticoats made more sense within the context of
dresses that Elizabeth had "in the Italian style" is that her
exposure to Italian Styles would have been colored almost exclusively
by the fact that she was seeing examples and being given gifts from
the Venetian Embassadorial Envoy....so as a result most of what she
was thinking of as Italian would have been cut along Venetian fashion
Now before everyone jumps on me and argues the possability of other
styles trickling into Elizabeths court from other parts of Italy; I
do not argue that it is quite possible. I just happen to think it
less likly because of the larger picture.
What you wore, much more so than today, defined your politics as well
as your economic status, and the elite were more subtle and adept at
interpurting shades of color, types of trim, cut of garments etc as
statements of who you were allied with, whom your family were sworn
to uphold, or what religion you favored.
With that in mind, Venice was rather more autonomous in its politics
and religous observances...and certainly more pragmatic and
businesslike in both....such that despite the Pope's hatred of
Elizabeth's policy and position....they did not move in lockstep with
the Pope as he prodded Spain into fighting with Elizabeth....they
maintained diplomatic relations with England when the rest of italy
was pretty much under the Pope's and the Medici's thumb( and given
that in the early years of Elizabeth's reign the Pope was actually
descended out of the Medici Clan...it made it al lthe more difficult
to separate the rest of Italy's politics from those of the Vatican.)
so through that lense, I feel comfortable in my idea that the styles
that would have been most readily accepted and worn with gusto in the
English Court that came from Italy would be those most
visibly "venetian" in cut since there would be no unpleasant
overtones of connection to the pope and his anti-elizabeth stance by
wearing such styles...particularly in Elizabeth's physical presence
since she was VERY conscious of these little nuances in those around
and this is very convolutedly getting me back to my point about the
buckeram underskirts and the corded or quilted underskirts....I have
actually been to venice...for Carnivale....and let me tell
you....there is no way in the world you are getting into a gondola
without running the high risk of a tumble into a canal if you are
trying to do so in a farthingale. Should you manage this task
somehow...you then are prevented from sitting either comfortably or
gracefully in said gondola by the aforementioned farthingale, and the
chances that your frock is going to become mired in the canal water
either while you are in transit to your destination or while exiting
the gondola...when you again run the risk of a fall into canal
water.....suffice it to say something more "collapsible" such as a
buckeram stiffened underskirt or a rope stiffened or quilted
underskirt to give volume but not impede movement would be vitally
necessary in that environment.....thats not even getting into the
logistics of some of the "not as wide as your arm span" streets that
you would have to navigate as well.
"skyrtes lyned with buckeram" that gets my attention.
> It would make more sense, to me, to use that as a way to "puff" thewarm).
> skirts out that using a gazillion petticoats (it's Italy, it's
> It would also explain the sparse evidence (if any?) forfarthingales
> being used in Italy. Buckram would be stiff enough to give a bitof a
> puff without the need for petticoats or a farthingale.
> Any other thoughts? Anyone heard of this being tried before?