Sunday, 12 April 2009

La Fugadour

Absolute dreck is not as frustrating to me as a gifted seamstress who creates howlers with boundless expertise.  The results look so professional that people are more likely to assume they're well-documented.  Such is the case at La Pompadour, where the errors show up on the first page... with a 'Baroque' gown sporting a sweetheart neckline!

There's more in the Mittelalter section, where I spot one of my biggest peeves immediately:

Keltischen Stickereien on a Hochmittelalterlische Form!?  Oh well, at least they specify that it's frühem Dekor.  But here's a reminder for those of you who don't speak German: No one used knotwork in 1300!  'Celtic' embroidery does NOT belong on a Gothic tunic!  I see SCAers doing this ALL THE TIME and it MAKES ME SICK!

I see nothing to indicate that this is fantasy.  So, why the split-fronted overtunic with hems that curve to the sides?  I've seen split-fronted skirts draped into curves in mid-Baroque (post 1650).  But in the Middle Ages? No.

Nowhere in Medieval art have I ever seen a sideless surcoat that does not reach the floor. Women were always showing off their fancy, contrasting kirtle hems, but look closely at the paintings, people.  They were not cutting their surcoats high to reveal them.  They were gathering the overskirts in their hands and holding them up.  Noting this does not exactly take a sleuth's powers of observation, so why do we keep fucking up!?

Beautiful!  Stunning!  Utterly gorgeous!  There's just one teensy weensy widdle pwobwem.  Burgundians did not wear split overskirts.  Seriously, I have only ever seen one historical source showing a split Burgundian overskirt, it was a fashion plate, it was plainly not Medieval, and I suspect it was Victorian.  And let me tell you, the Victorians knew dick all about historical accuracy.  Research was spotty at best.  Take a look at their ludicrous Gothic follies for a taste of how seriously they took history.  So, why does every goddamn Burgundian gown on the site have a split overskirt?

The workmanship is so beautiful that I'd like to believe the designs were at the request of whoever commissioned them.  But with nothing specifying artistic license or mixing of periods (aside from a short note about the knotwork), I really have no idea.  I'll request a gown from these people in an instant, once I reach a six-figure salary, but I will be very specific about what I'm looking for.


  1. I assume you mean the Anglo-Saxon knotwork borders there, huh?

    At least the good news is that since they used them in manuscript illuminations, stone carving, and metalwork, we can be reasonably sure that they would have used them in bands of tablet weaving as well.

  2. Yeah, the site used the term 'Celtic' (well, Keltisch in German), and it sorta pissed me off. I didn't want to go into the whole messy business of just how wrong it was, but I did put 'Celtic' in quotes. I hope you are somewhat appeased!