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Dress diary- kitchen wear

12 Sep

In my never ending quest for the perfect kitchen wear, I think I am going to go with this gown.  I like that the dress sleeves are short and the over-sleeves are pinned on.  This has great potential.  I have become of late, enamored of peasent/working class wear.  I guess that makes sense given how much I spend my time working and not actually being a pretty, pretty princess.  I have also become quite enthralled by undergarments.

Given what I know about this region and style of dress (almost nothing), I am going to have to do a little guessing as to what is going on.  It looks like she is wearing a laced over dress of parti-colored blues, over the top of a different color blue under dress. Neckline looks more square-ish then round. A nice rounded collared shift, a simple cap and plain white apron.

This dress is part of the painting called the “Festival of the Archers”.  And… its an allegory. The problem with allegories, is there is usually some grain of truth to them. Which makes figuring out why and what fore challenging. Lots of theories and possibilities.  This may be why they are interesting to me. It’s a puzzle. A mind game. Finding the right plausible reasons, makes it less like work.  And when you are looking for other paintings of the “master of Frankfurt” and run into yet more allegories you have to wonder what was this guy doing.  At the very least, he does very lovely work.

Much conversation has taken place and I have been left to ponder different bits of this and that.

  • It is a dress on a servant girl.  Most of the costumes in the picture are showing the late 1400’s styled upper class gowns.    She appears to
  • be one of the only servants in the portrait. It possible that it is a hand me down.  She is also one of the only gowns with this “lace” up front.
  • If you look at the neckline, I really think this is 2 layers. The blue from the placard goes up all the way to the shoulder.
  • If the dress is a hand me down from an earlier time, it might also  explain why there is a gap.  Possible that the gown had to be “let out”/altered.  Also the posibility that this may betwo different dresses.
  • There is also the posibility that it could be livery.
  • And there is always the idea that the painter could be remembering things he has seen and just gone with it.

So I am going to guess, based upon a hypothosis and say, it’s 2 different colors, with a dress underneath. I am also willing to say, it’s an allagory and be ok with that. At the very least, it is just fabric and it can be repurposed.

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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in 15th century, Sewing

 

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