Julie's Venetian Courtesan

Who doesn't want to be a Dangerous Beauty?

Friday, January 14, 2005

Gown Construction "Blueprint"

Besides the gown itself and camica, which I think I pretty much covered in my previous posts, the rest of my ideas are as follows:

I plan on making a corset to go under the gown. For this I will most likely use the Corset Generator and Sewing Instructions on the Elizabethan Costuming page. I have purchased a heavy white denim for this purpose. It seems quite sturdy, was on ridiculous sale, and is white so it won’t bleed onto anything in the wash. I am considering doing steel spiral boning in the corset for extra support (I lie a bit on the busty side) and “cinch”--I lie on the mushy side, too ;-). There are some boning retailers suggested on the aforementioned pattern site, and I will have to peruse those to find the best deals. I am still deciding if I want to do the outer layer of my corset in decorative fabric. But most likely, I will decide “yes.” If so, the decorative fabric will be some tan curtains I picked up in goodwill at the insistence of an accomplice. You can see it here, in the underskirt. Its leafy.

corset fabric is the underskirt

I also saw another corset idea I quite liked. On Festive Attyre, there was a picture of a corset that was laced in the back ,b ut had hook and eye closures in the front to make dressing (and undressing) yourself easier. I might experiment with this….

We’ve already touched on this, it will be the red brocade from my previous post. The major thing I wanted to add to this info was that I am thinking about making it a “corded” underskirt. Which to my understanding means I sew channels containing rope around the bottom and up the inside of the skirt to provide a loose support for skirt poofiness. My thought is it would allow air circulation “down there” on warm days, as well as add to the aesthetics. I will experiment with this, as well… The references I have found thus far in on the Semptress page, and on the Festive Attyre site in the diary for the Bergamesque Noblewoman's Gown.

Depending on the cording used, this could be fairly rigid or much less so. I still am not sure if I’m doing this, but its at least fun to consider…

Oh, how I love the braided/woven Venetian partlets. A great example is from a Veronese fresco:

Veronese: Detail from a fresco (off of Realm of Venus)

And a delish detail shot (though Florentine, not Venetian) is found in an Eleanora de Toledo portrait:

See Partlet, above . Also for anyone interested, there are even better detail shots of this painting on the Raveness dress diary. She was able to see the painting in person, and got some excellent photos...

I have found various people who made these types of partlets and explained it on their websites. Some actually weaving them, like Briana on Realm of Venus, and others assembling crisscrossing trims on sheer fabric, like Alyxx. Both methods are very effective, and I will do the weaving if I’ve got time (and if I can manage to figure it out), but the sheer fabric option is also spectacular if I save my partlet til last minute!

I want to do a beaded girdle as seen in many Venetian portriats. One good example of a courtesan and her girdle is this:

Unknown Artist: Courtesan

Keeping in mind that the above example has a larger bottom piece for accent, I looked around WalMart to see what I could find to approximate it. I came up with a beaded tassle sold for window dressings. It was $2.50, so I figured it was worth the expense to save me from trying to make the thing…I also checked the beading section to make sure matching beads to this tassle are fairly common, and they are. So, my girdle will look like an extended version of this:

beadies for girdle (middlish left)

I absolutely NEED a flag fan to complete the ensemble. First, they were in Dangerous Beauty,
and they appear in Venetian/Italian portraiture:

Titian: Portrait Of A Lady In White

I think the only details left after all the above are jewelry, hair and perhaps a veil. I will definitely hit thrift stores/goodwill/antique stores for the jewelry. I love that kinda stuff!

Hair, eh, i'll have to experiment. And if my hair sucks (its currently a bit short for braiding), that's what the veil is for! ;-)

Until next time (most likely after I go buy camica thread...)


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