-1560s, westphalia, brunswick

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Status: Wearable

Year finished: 2007

To Do:  Remake underkirt as it was used to finish my Mina Gown

Updates since last photo: Gold bands on goller (shoulder cover) realigned and bottom border added.

Inspiration: Herman tom Ring’s portrait of two girls, Braunchweig

In July 2007 I was elevated to the order of the laurel and so created another gown for the ceremony. I chose another of my favourite portraits of sisters from Muenster. I made my gown from red silk taffeta and black cotton velveteen.

I have had photocopies of Max von Behn’s Die Mode sine I was at university in the early 1990s. One of these was of a girl painted by Ludger tom Ring. More recently I have spent many hours searching online art galleries as well as museum sites. Until very recently few works by the tom Ring family were available however they have become more easy to find and fellow costumers have also come to the rescue, most notabley K. Barich who kindly sent me hi resolution scans of the original portrait as seen in Die Mode.

The specific portrait that inspired this work though is by Herman tom Ring and is of two sisters from the region.
Hermann tom Ring 001

The style is quite reminiscent of the Saxon style as painted most notably by Lucas Cranach however it is quite distinctive regional in details. There are some distinctly Nederlandish features in the specific shape of the gollar (shoulder covering). The skirts are also open, in line with the opening of the bodice.

The skirt was completed and hemmed top and bottom before being roll pleated into the bodice. The bodice was also finished a complete garment prior. This allows the skirt to fully hinge at the waist and there is no excess bulk in a waistband or inside the bodice hem. This makes the skirt and bodice sit well and is much more comfortable as there is no ring of bulky fabric pressing in at the waist.

 

The underskirt and skirt were both made as rectangles. I usually use a gored skirt for my Cleves/Cologne/Nijmegen gowns and a circle based skirt for my Swiis/Saxon gowns however this style is most matches the effect of finely pleated unshaped panels. Especially with the use of multiple bands of different colour on the skirt (outer as here or underskirts as in the more common style of the time and region)

The bodice required a degree of extrapolation and interpretation based on woodcuts and portraits of the region and local areas. I also referred to many other portraits to uncover other details of the gown hidden by the aprons and goller (or Kleyrn). My gown neckline extend vertically up and curves closely to the neck. My earlier attempt at the style had a square neck and this may be a possible alternative. However I did find evidence of the style I wound up using in my gown above.

My gown is fully lined in black silk, a kind of faille, including the bodice and sleeves.

All stripes were hand sewn and shaped by pressing of card templates cut to shape.

There is a set of stays worn underneath based on the Dorothea stays, though they are a little later date than the portrait, and a panel of red silk pinned to that. This may be what is refered to as a Brusttuch in inventories (breat cloth) as opposed to the Brustflek (breast band) that probably refers to the jewelled/brocade bands worn at the low neckline of Saxon style gowns.

Over this is worn a linen undergoller to which the neck ruff is pinned.

My pearlenhaube (pearled cap) was created from overdyed brocade and has a pattern of hexagonal cells in large bugle beads and pearls overlapping. In the centre of each pearl cell (or the connections of each gold cell) there is a small bee bead, as it seemed appropriate for the shape. The overall shape is a D where the curved edge is pleated into a few inches in the back and the straight edge frames my face. this give the smooth shape around the face but allows the slight bagging at the back.