Advice please on square neckline

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SirGriffin
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Advice please on square neckline

Postby SirGriffin » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:27 pm

Hi,

I have been told that square necklines were around in medieval times. I had previously thought they were fashionable in the Tudor period, not earlier. The picture shows a green dress based on one of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries and listed as medieval. My understanding is these tapestries were made in about 1511, which is Henry VIII reign, well into the Tudor period. Any advice if this style of dress and specifically the square neckline could be worn as medieval, specifically 15th century, would be great.

Cheers
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Lady and the Unicorn costume.jpg



frances
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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby frances » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:51 pm

I think that you can work out the authenticity of the two ladies by the fringe on one and the loose hair on the other. Why not google the tapestry and look for yourself rather than relying on someone else's interpretation.



SirGriffin
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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby SirGriffin » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:02 am

I realise the picture is not great/accurate for re-enacting. I found out that the tapestry is from the Tudor period by looking online, the dress does look quite similar to the tapestry. The problem is the tapestry is Tudor and the person claims it is medieval and I just want confirmation one way or the other. I will then know to avoid this trader in future if other people can confirm my fears that they are wrong with the time period.

I was under the belief that this forum was designed as a place for people of like minds to gather and share knowledge, thoughts and advice which is why I have posted here. I have tried to check for references online however I have not been satisfied with anything that I have found. I was hoping that someone with a greater knowledge in these things could offer guidance on the subject.



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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby frances » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:28 am

Dear SirGriffin,

'medieval' is quite a long time period. Do you have a specific date in mind? Fashions changed quite a bit over the 500 or so years.



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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby Medicus Matt » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:14 am

'Medieval' covers 1000 years.
Give us a clue?


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SirGriffin
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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby SirGriffin » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:21 am

Sorry, As stated in my original post I am trying to verify if this is suitable for 15th century. I know that these types of dresses and neck line were fashionable in the 16th century with the Tudors however I have been informed by the maker of the dress that they were also used prior to this. I am attempting to remain as authentic as possible so any advice on this would be helpful.



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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby 40/- freeholder » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:14 pm

There are good illustrations of costume in C15th Books of Hours, most famous is Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. Go to Karen Larsdatter's website (Google larsdatter), go to the section on Books of Hours, find the dateline you are interested in and look specifically at April/May when the gentry rode out in their finery.



SirGriffin
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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby SirGriffin » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:46 pm

Hi,

Thanks for that. It is a great resource for clothing of the time :-) It doesn't seem there were square necklines in the late 15th century in these pictures. Obviously this is not a definitive resource though.



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saracen
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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby saracen » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:16 am

Hi - you do see occasional square necklines in late 15thc images, but I would say it is a rare style, especially for north-west Europe. The v-neckline is far far more prevalent, so I'd avoid this style and - speaking personally - also this trader as it does not seem they are giving you good advice for the 15th century. You might like to take a look at the guides I've put together for English later fifteenth century kit - here's a link:
http://trouveremedievalminstrels.wordpress.com
Cheers, hope this helps



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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby SirGriffin » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:03 pm

Hi,

Thanks for that, great source of information.

Rachel



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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:29 pm

Wholly agree with Saracen.

C15th square neckline tend to come in with the new Tudor dynasty.

For the period of the later Plantagenet dynasty rounded necklines at all levels of society, or very late, wide, straight, barely-on-the-shoulder court necklines are the norm. This gown may be a fancy dress attempt to ape the plunging v necks Burgundian gowns which were slashed to the high waist and are rendered modest by the cut-across of the round necklined kirtle underneath - which appeared to squared off the neckline, but is actually two layered garments.

I'd avoid square necklines for late C15th, unless you are a later very rich or highborn feeeelthy Tudor.

The examples you have shown / been shown have nothing to do with late c15th English clothing - various part of Europe were operating on very different facets as far as clothing went. The front one is a sort of one piece renaissance Italian outfit which would have been 3 layers, the back one is vaguely reminiscent of the allegorical figures in the La Dame à la Licorne tapestries held at the Musee du Moyen Age in Paris - they are Tudor** becuase the french run the middle ages cut off to a later date than we do. The Karen Larsdottir site is very comprehensive : If in doubt very very roughly the English followed the Burgundians, the Scots the French, the Spanish and poles were doing their own thing and the Italians were renaissancing all over themselves and might as well have been on another planet as far as the English are concerned.

I hope this helps rather than confuses: English fashions are simpler and relatively backward in this period.

** Actually Tudor-esque period fancy dress, becuase they are fantasy fashions of their day imagined by the designer of the tapestry. Recursion!!


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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby Mark Griffin » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:38 pm

Lets not beat around the bush if we care about the portrayal of historic clothing. Those are crappy fantasy costumes only suitable for lesser RenFairs and fancy dress parties.


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Re: Advice please on square neckline

Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:08 pm

As far as I know, the square neck line starts to appear in England in the 1490s, possibly late 80s, so yes, they are known in the 15th C. They are not appropriate for Wars of the Roses.

Other than that, listen to Alice and Mark, they know what they're talking about.

Good luck,

Colin


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