Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Public Service Message

Okay.  I'm pissed.  I've seen stuff like this on nearly every site I visit, billed as Medieval, and it isn't Medieval AT ALL.  I don't know who's responsible for introducing purely fanciful GOTH fashions into the reenactment crowd, but I want them MAIMED.  I want their fingers CUT OFF so they'll STOP SEWING.

Well, no I don't.  Not really.  Because the concept has infected so many sites that killing the source won't do shit.  EDUCATION is the only option.  So, here are the two ACCEPTABLE forms of Medieval front lacing with contrasting fabric:

I strongly suspect that in BOTH CASES, the contrast is provided NOT by a front panel sewn into the overdress, but by a SEPARATE GARMENT showing beneath the lacings.  Otherwise the lacings themselves would be purely for show. Because, see, these gowns are carefully TAILORED and the fabric LIES FLAT... not like the SHAPELESS SACKS that pucker in front because the lacings are making up for SLOPPY CONSTRUCTION.

I might also note that I've never seen Medieval examples of laced bodice gowns with hanging sleeves.  Those big bell sleeves were not as ubiquitous all through the 1000 years of the Middle Ages as people seem to think.  

So, that's my pissy, peeve-fueled rant for the day.  I'm turning off the CAPS LOCK now.


  1. Can you tell me who those pictures are by?

  2. Sure! They're by a very well-known and prolific medieval illuminator, one Anonymous by name. Probably, anyway - I feel safe in saying that without looking them up, but there are exceptions. :)

  3. You can find later period contrasting front dresses. The flemish gown being one of the most typical examples ( )

    1. Thank you - that's a wonderfully detailed source with plenty of explanation and its own sources provided! That style is an example of a separate garment showing beneath the lacing of an open-fronted gown, so we still don't have a front panel sewn into a dress, though.