These pages are to show the progress of myWedding gown that I
finished and wore on my wedding day earlier this summer. I hope
that the information given here will be useful for anyone who is as
fascinated about costumes as I am.
I have just finished University - at long last and now have a year
in which to make my wedding gown, organise the wedding and
supervise the making of three bridesmaid's gowns, one page boy's
gown and also the outfits that my parents are to wear.
The theme for
the wedding is "Tudor". We have a capsule date to
use of between 1545 and 1549. The costumes of this decade are
exquisite - women have a silhouette that is slim and elegant and
men have a big square look to them. The fabrics are rich and
luxurious, with silks, fine linens, embroidery and jewels seen
My first task,
is to design my gown and those of the attendants.
The internet is an excellent place to hunt out copies of portraits of
the period. I have decided to base my wedding gown on two
portraits:- "Princess Elizabeth c. 1547", and "Lady Jane Grey c. 1550s".
of Lady Jane
The dress Lady Jane wears is based on the popular "French Gown". It consists of a smock, corset or "stays" as they would have been termed, possibly a farthingale, petticoat and overgown.
The Overgown seems to be made of silver cloth of gold (a silk fabric with silver and gold threads woven into it). The overcuffs are of ermine and the undersleeves and forepart are of a red strapwork patterned brocade studded with pearls.
The neckline is wide and square with a slight curve to the bodice. The neckline is also jewelled. The head-dress is the fashionable "French Hood", which was an elegant crescent closely fitted with a black fabric veil hanging down the back. This too is heavily jewelled and is made out of a red fabric - possibly a silk.
of Princess Elizabeth.
This gown is also of the popular "French Gown" style. The fabric of the overgown is of a rich red brocade. The undersleeves and forepart, however, are of a very luxurious raised pile gold brocade.
The overcuffs are of the same fabric as the rest of the gown, and it is possible that My Lady's hood is also of the same brocade. Again the ubiquitous black fabric veil extends down to her shoulders.
The waist is a clearly defined "V" shape, enhanced by the jewelled girdle which reflects the jewels on My Lady's neckline and Upper billiament of the hood. Jewels catch the puffs on the undersleeves as well.
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