In preparation for Avacal’s first Coronation, a small group of ladies decided that since so many of them had green dresses, that it would be nice to all wear them for part of the event. Of course, although I have green fabric for some Viking Age garb, I haven’t actually made it up – and other than a gown that I made in grade 11 (don’t even ask how many years ago that was!) I don’t recall having a single green period dress… (I have a few modern mundane dresses and other costume-kind of dresses in green.. just nothing for period.)
So… once I finished another project I wanted to have done for Coronation, I decided that it would be nice to have a green dress to add to the costume closet as well. I wasn’t super keen on making up the Viking Age garb though, and I wanted something less fitted, constrictive, and frankly time-consuming than re-making the Italian costume I recently did in green.
I recently pulled my sideless surcote (a grey knit with the appearance of wool, with real fur trim – recycled from tattered fur coats) and wore it to a tavern (on another day when I wasn’t feeling like going a’Viking) and decided to knock it off and make it up in a green. I didn’t have the fabric I wanted handy, so went shopping, and found some perfectly lovely fabric.
My finished Italian costume… done with the Fresco filter 🙂
In my previous post I shared some of my research/inspiration, and here’s what I finally came up with.
In addition to reading a few dress diaries, I was lent notes from a woman in the SCA who has also studied and created a late 1400s Italian costume along with the help of her mentor. Her notes include recommendations for adding the needed fullness throughout the garment, rather than just adding fullness to the sides of the garment.
Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni – Domenico Ghirlandaio. (1489) Florence
In the Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni the Giornea appears to have a very low V-neck. The garment is completely open at the sides, and is worn un-belted. The garment is sleeveless. The same outfit seems to have been recreated in the Visitation painting. This version doesn’t appear to have any trim at the neckline or along the sides, and the hem is unseen. The fabric seems to be a white and yellow brocade/damask.