16th Century Venetian Lady's Clothing
Sabine d'Ricoldi da Forli
My under dress is constructed out of cotton linen, for two reasons- it is a close approximation of the linen of the day, and it is cheap!! The construction is based on an under dress found at the website ‘A Reconstructed Chemise’. (1) I included a small section of cotton lace at the wrists so that they can show past the sleeves of the dress, which seems to have been done in early 16th Century Venice.
The dress was constructed in two parts: the bodice and the skirt. The fabric is cotton velvet, a close and cheaper approximation of velvet of the day.
The skirt is a rectangular section of material cartridge pleated onto a waistband. This waistband is then sewn onto the bottom of the bodice. The reason I believe this was the case is because with the wide lacing dips very low on the torso, thus the waistband would be seen if it was worn on the waist normally. This can be seen on this picture:
The bodice is constructed to act as a lightly boned corset. There are two front sections of bamboo reeds to hold the front in. The lacing is blue satin and it is laced using the ladder lacing method. The design is based from the Bella Nani portrait. The sleeves have false slashings on them as can be seen in this picture:
A common feature of these dresses is the partlet. I have not included one with my dress because some of the earlier portraits have been shown without it. An example:
Chopines are some of the most impractical articles of clothing I have ever seen. They reach extremely silly heights and are just about impossible to walk in. An example can be seen here : (5)
I wore a pair of slippers for safety’s sake, but with this I have included a pair of shoes that could be used as an approximation for a pair of chopines.
I have also included a pair of red linen hose. Wearing the chopines is uncomfortable without them, much as shoes without socks can be today.
With the dress I wore the accessories you can see in this picture here:
Yes, it’s true. This is me wearing the dress. I have a gold mesh belt with a gold chain wound around it. A brooch decorating the tied part. A long necklace of fake (!) pearls and a moonstone and ruby bracelet turned into a choker.
(1)http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/beginners/chemise.html A Reconstructed Chemise site visited: 8 June 2002
(2) http://au.geocities.com/bella_lucia_da_verona/ The Realm of Venus website visited: 8/7/02
(3)http://au.geocities.com/bella_lucia_da_verona/ The Realm of Venus website visited: 8/7/02
(4) http://au.geocities.com/bella_lucia_da_verona/ The Realm of Venus website visited: 8/7/02
(5)http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~ebernhar/index.shtml Venetian chopines 8 June 2002