Monday, 5 November 2012

Empire: The Italian Renaissance

Next year at Easter I am attending a new LARP system in the UK run by Profound Decisions. Details, for those who would like to know more can be found here.

The group and nation I am in requires costumes to match the Italian Renaissance period (although it is essentially a fantasy system so there is room for movement), drawing heavily from The Borgias for inspiration.

I have started to collect fabrics and trim for the gowns I am going to make; so far the makings of one for my daughter and two for myself plus a chemise each. Realistically, I need to make two for my daughter before the first event as it is a four day event and she cant keep anything clean for longer than five minutes. Also, being Easter I anticipate the weather to be cold, so i will need to think about a cloak each as well.

Normally I would grab something from my ever growing costume wardrobe, but PD have emphasised the importance of accurate costume for this system, so grabbing a felt cloak out of the cupboard just wont do.

I have my reservations, that's a whole lot of extra work to fit in around my final year, so i will just see how I do.

Step 1 is gather fabrics, then I will move on to drafting the patterns. At least the patterns are simple, and once I have done one each, they will only need slight modifications for any further gowns.

But I am very excited. I love this period, and I'm looking forward to using all my skills to wow people on the field, I'm also looking forward to finally doing some cartridge pleats.

Here are some snaps of the fabrics so far. I found some amazing and very expensive trims (£10 p/m) but they have not photographed well.

These greens are for my daughter. Stone silk skirts, silk organza chemise (although she will be getting some brushed cotton versions too for warmth), diamond brocade bodice(synthetic but good quality) and the amazing embroidered flower fabric for elaborate renaissance sleeves.

My fabric for gown 1. Similar to the embroidered version above, although not quite as nice, I had this piece a while since I bought it in the sale. I have more than enough for the main bodice and sleeves and will probably team with cobalt blue powerwoven silk dupion skirts. Trim etc, not yet purchased.
The blue/gold silk/cotton brocade has been in my stash for ages. I got it for £1 p/m at a closing down sale of a local fabric shop. It is not really period (well tbh, none of my fabrics are- but this is NOT reenactment it is a fantasy system, my silhouette will be right and the fabrics are very good quality, this is good enough for me). The mustard wool has a beautiful drape, there is silk for a chemise akin to a heavy habotai, and plain navy powerwoven dupion. Plus the beautiful trims. I cant decide whether to have a brocade bodice, or wool with the left over used for the skirts(as I have enough for both options), the plain is for the sleeves as the will be adorned with trim and pearls etc.

Some inspirations photos from the Borgias:

Ideas for cloaks/coats


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