Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Mombee the ebay seller offers Renaissance style jewellery -- obviously costume stuff, but great for those of us who can't afford commissioning a collar for about a billion bucks. It's just too bad that the clothes aren't as authentic looking as the sparklies.

The place is constantly offering new versions of the same basic pattern; a pattern with serious problems.

They always come with the same shape of French hood, which is not nearly as sophisticated as the ones that show up in every single portrait that I know of. And the bodice is wrong. I'll slap up a portrait of Lady Jane Grey* to illustrate why. Note that the sides of the neckline are much further apart, and that the top of the bodice front actually curves upward. On some examples, this line is straight, but it never, never curves slightly downward.

On to the skirt. I've seen a lot of examples, and none of them place the sides of the overskirt so far apart. None of them gather the underskirt. It looks like the overskirt of this thing is gathered too, and it ought to be pleated.

But these are minor compared to the sleeves. There were no such things as Tudor sleeves that were slit to the elbow like this (or if there were, they magically failed to show up in artwork anywhere in the Renaissance). Those bands around the lower arms are also, you guessed it, wrong.

It's not a bad dress. There's nothing ugly about it and the fabric and trim are very pretty (although, in the case of the floral print satin, not remotely period). For Ren Faires it'd probably be fine. For reenactment, though, the pattern needs some altering.

*Maybe it's Catherine Parr.  Take your pick.

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