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The slashed gown of Isabel de Valois
– Edited to add:
During to a flood that hit my house, the fabrics and partially completed parts of this costume were destroyed.
So until I decide to actually redo everything with new fabrics, the pages for this gown only serve as a documentation and memory of what I made; not as a dress diary.
Whoa… what a gown… what a project.
I found myself staring in awe each time this sweet little portrait crossed my path on my way through the internet. Those slashed spanish sleeves are just… well, I would guess that in the time this gown was worn and painted, people would have called sleeves like those fairly decadent – lately, I have said to someone that those sleeves would probably have had an effect likely to what a *very* short mini skirt and a *deep* neckline (down to the navel) would be in modern times.
It’s an extremely unique gown, which should be recognizable to anyone who has seen the portrait just once, if I will manage to produce a just ‘likely’ copy.
And I *so* dislike the orange color of the gown. At some point of time, however, it dawned me that I wouldn’t have to make the gown in orange if I didn’t want to.
Now – we may now have a very long discussion whether light aqua blue is period for Elizabethan clothing or not – I must admit that I don’t know a single portrait of any person from that time wearing a gown of that color – but it was definitely possible to dye that color by the means of cornflowers.
So I saw no reason not to make the gown (or rather: At least start on a study of the gown) when I found a nice fabric that would match it. I’m still not quite sure if I should make it in aqua blue or garnet red – but one thing is for sure: Given the chance, I will most definitely make this gown.
For a start, I have searched the net for pictures of this gown, respectively the portrait. To my surprise I was only able to find one rather bad scan of it, this one here:
*BUT*… there was Michaela’s wonderful site, which also had some close-up pictures of the portrait. So I took the bad scan, enlarged it, and replaced some parts of it with Michaela’s close-ups.
This here is the result, which I find much better for studying (and quite large – I have to warn you):
After seeing what I am about to do, Michaela was so nice to send me her original photos of the portrait which I have used in the above shown collage.
With them, I was able to make yet another collage – and an even nicer one than the one above. It was a bit difficult, as Michaela’s photos were taken at an angle, but I think I managed to match up the picture of the painting and Michaela’s photos quite nicely. Here’s the new collage:
Now that I had a nice source for studying the gown, but no fabric at hand yet, I thought it couldn’t hurt to open up a page for studying that particular gown, which will be called “Studying“.