(White Queen is still in progress, just no pictures yet.)
What’s another project added to the pile, right? Bella announced on Realm of Venus that she was going to do a competition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her website: The Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge.
The nice thing about this particular challenge is it forces you to stay honest and to actively work on your project, which is due in August. You have to submit photos on your progress, as well as details on what you are working on. You also have to make 4 layers: an underwear layer (corset/drawers/camicia, etc.), a underskirt or such, an over-gown/cape/loose robe, and an accessory (Zibellino/partlet/ruffs/muff/fan/etc.).
The challenge is run on a points system. You get points for historical accuracy in construction/design/handwork, for the amount of items you complete, for each additional item you complete, etc.
And of course my competitive streak (which is also an INSANE streak) came out and I decided I needed to do this. Partly because I had already planned on trying to make something Italian this year in addition to working on Eleonora and partly because it will be a nice change of pace from all the punch needlework that is coming my way after Con, and partly because I can reuse some of this for my Eleonora.
It was painted sometime around 1524-1527. There is some mystery around this painting as there is no definite identification of the woman in the portrait. Was she Parmigianino’s daughter? Lover? Servant? Was she a noblewoman? Was she a famous courtesan from Rome?
All I know is that I have been intrigued by this portrait since I saw it. I love the colors, the design, the highly focused look of the girl in the portrait. The style of this gown also interested me. Gowns of other portraiture during this time all seem to have that very low neckline with huge sleeves. The sleeves are something I can figure out, but I have not been sure on how to do the bodice portion of the gown. Often you will see camicias worn with a gown this low, but in this portrait she is wearing what looks like a partlet, and it has a very deep V in the front. Which makes me wonder how low the camicia is in this case. And since I am a busty girl I wonder how well this is going to hold me in. I am assuming there will need to be some kind of binding or other such item to hold me in place and not allow any spillage.
Several people have done showcases of similar gowns on ROV and their notes are incredibly helpful. I posted the question on my FB as to the type of fabric that makes up her gold overgown, and the consensus seems to be a kind of silk fabric with appliqued stripes on top, mainly due to the varied widths of the stripes. I think a heavy duchess satin would work well (preferably in silk, but may need to be a blend or poly due to cost), in an antique gold with an olive/golden ribbon sewn on top. I have done some looking online for fabric, but have decided instead to wait till I get to NYC and check the fabric district there.
The fabric for the partlet is easy – it is VERY similar to the gold-embroidered silk (without the beadwork) I used for my blue and gold Courtesan and I still have several yards of that left.
My friend MamaRox has some leftover Zibellinos that she had purchased at our local Savers (5 for $25!) and I am going to buy one from her. Frankly they creep me out, but it is in the portrait, so….GAH.
I’m not sure I will actually make gloves, but the embroidered apron is doable and easily transportable, and will be a good test of the iron-on transfer method I am using for the punch needlework on Eleonora. The cuffs on the camicia look rather detailed and I am not sure that will be able to be finished prior to August.
I am going to put a tab at the top for this project as well. I think it is indeed slightly crazy to add this to my plate, but I think this is going to help my Eleonora project in the long run and help to keep me motivated.
Plus, as I mentioned, I am just a wee bit competitive. Either way, should be fun!