Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sofi's Stitches

The usually remarkable Sofi's Stitches has produced a real howler.  How could they get it so wrong after designing such gems as the 'Avon Jupon' of Flanders (which one of our posters wears proudly) and the beautiful 'Toledo' gown of the late Italian Renaissance?

I don't know, but somehow they fucked up the Northern Renaissance.  This is my absolute FAVOURITE period of women's clothing and I was delighted when I heard they'd made a German gown.  Then I saw this.

Most people have no clue what the Germans were wearing in the Renaissance, so here are a few links for you.  The prolific Lucas Cranach the Elder painted many women, from contemporary nobles to religious figures, with pleated, striped skirts and puffed, slashed sleeves.  Here is my favourite, a Mary Magdalen in a landscape.  This is Salome, displaying poor Johnny's head while wearing the hautest fashions of the day.  These are three Saxon princesses, painted in 1525-30 (the same as the supposed period of Sofi's blunder).  Seeing a pattern?  

Skirts have seams at the waist and are pleated.  They've got stripes like Miss Magdalen's, and more stripes indicate a higher position in society (so, Sofi's velvet-clad damsel must be a serf!)  Noblewomens' gowns consist of a brocade panel across the bust and black lacing over a white panel below.  Nowhere in Northern Renaissance art do we see a princess line overdress with a v-neck plunging down to there and a separate inset piece beneath it.

It's not an ugly dress.  It would be fine as a fantasy gown.  But it's no more suitable for SCA than Disney's Snow White.

1 comment:

  1. I really like their Eleanora of Toledo gown. I have problems with the 'Flanders' gown but would be willing to hold my tongue if I saw it at an event. But yes, their fantasy 'German' is bizarre at best. I would bet that there's a weird portrait out there somewhere though, showing something that they've wildly misunderstood.

    Oh- and not all German Ren outfits look like the classic Cranach. Just sayin'. :-)