Friday, 27 March 2009

Vintage Fugstumes -- the Renaissance edition

Renaissance men at Vintage Costumes suffer from a variety of ills, from crushed velvet to corduroy, but the worst offense is this:

A waistcoat??  Looks Victorian to me!

For the ladies, there are five different versions of this:

It's based on a Simplicity pattern.  I've never seen a dress like this in Renaissance art and it's certainly not Tudor, as they claim.  

The above is another Simplicity pattern design, and exceptionally inaccurate.  Both the bodice and the bands around the lower arms (which look like they're part of the dress in the Vintage Costumes version and don't even lace up!) are more fantasy than Renaissance.  And no one would have worn the chemise (which should be white) without an overskirt to hide it.  In addition, Renaissance ladies did not wear padded rolls around their heads.

Here is yet another Simplicity pattern, this time based on Drew Barrymore's costumes in the Cinderella story "Ever After."  It's much closer to correct and resembles a Venetian gown depicted by Albrecht Dürer, so I do indeed give it a pass... but beware that this popular dress, with versions cropping up everywhere, is a romanticised take on the Italian Renaissance.

They've also got some stuff that's just plain bugfuck and I don't know where it came from.  Sixth from the top is a sparkly pink beaded thing that's got nothing to do with the Renaissance, but some tasteless old lady might have worn it to the opera in the 1980's.  We've got a brown 'Elizabethan' dress with a weird front panel and modern looking lace (I think it's eyelet).  There's a navy blue monstrosity that's imitating the musketeer era... badly.  This thing is decidedly Baroque and does not belong in the Renaissance section.  And among the inevitable wenchwear, right down at the bottom of the page, we've got a costume with ruffles (NOT PERIOD, PEOPLE!) and the most idiotically enormous bodice dags I've ever seen.


  1. Have you noticed that one of the first signs of a cheaply made and poorly researched costume is that they're really stingy with the material? There's not much cloth in those skirts especially.

  2. Or in the slops. And I'm not sure, but I don't think they wore inky-dinky teeny-weeny look-at-my-jiggly-butt slops back then.

  3. You didn't even broach the image of off-the-shoulder "gypsy" chemises worn by females claiming respectability...