Author Topic: Research questions  (Read 14308 times)

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Offline Angus

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2008, 04:28:12 AM »
"Ladies and Gents..... (((by the way.. WHERE Are our MEN Sewers these days? )))..... Post away!"

While I sew, and create costumes...
...I am not a sewer.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary
Sew-er
–noun
1. an artificial conduit, usually underground, for carrying off waste water and refuse, as in a town or city.
 

I begin rather oddly, I look at pictures of what I want to create, then I begin to create patterns based on my body dimensions, I then modify the pattern to "mirror" what I am wanting to create, as the garment develops, I modify as needed until I finish.

I am dressed in a "Period-esque" garment, I am not 100% HA, I don't hand sew, too much time needed, and I opt for cooler (temps) garments, meaning thinner fabrics, for summer, and lined garments for winters.

I sew hidden pockets for my cloaks, and anything else I fancy...
...basically I sew for user ease, not neccessarily Historical Accuracy.
Chief cook, and bottle washer...

Offline Artemisia

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2008, 06:05:42 PM »
1. Where do you find the basic research material when you're making a (fairly) historical correct garb?
Portraits/paintings, fashion plates, inventory lists, sumptuary legislations, surviving garb, books, museum info.

2. If using paintings/portraits as a basis, how do you decide whether it is/they are not allegorical or idealized, or suitable for your project? I keep to portraits of one person with a reference of the name of the person for good detail. Some paintings still have some historically correct clothing set in a religious scene. In these cases again I look for a reference of a real name. Titles such as "Three Graces" and "Venus" are red fantasy flags for me.

3. How do you decide what fabrics, materials and colours are plausible?
I look at paintings for colors. I find extant textile samples online or in my books for patterns. I stay with 100% linen, silk and wool. I will also use a fabric blend if the fabric looks really good. I'm currently researching more about the quality of the fabrics in Italy during the renaissance.

4. How do you get an idea of what kind of undergarbs and supports to use?
Until we can actually see the garmet, it's our best guess. I do listen and weigh heavily the opinion of those who have done extensive research on the subject.

5. Last, but not least: What era do you usually make garbs from?
Mostly 15 and 16th Florence Italy, which is where my persona from. The household I live in is Venetian so I made a venetian gown this year. I'm also looking at Spanish and Persian clothing since those styles were worn in Italy in later years.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 01:45:43 PM by Artemisia »
Artemisia Moltabocca
You haven't had enough coffee unless you can thread a sewing machine while it's running.

Offline Liddlebit

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2008, 02:10:35 PM »
HI! I'm a young costume guy.  In fact I am in grad school right now for costume. But that by no means says that I'm an expert on costumes. 

I agree with what most people have said about their research techniques.  I do the same thing in trying to find paintings or woodcuts from the period as well as looking at historical books like Janet Arnold and the Tudor Tailor.  I also look at historical surveys and some agricultural record type things.  If an area had a lot of sheep, then wool was cheap and probably most of the people would have wool garments.  Cotton was not so common in England because they don't have the right climate for it.  Any cotton would come from India or Egypt or something, thus meaning it would be more expensive.  I also use a bit of common sense and personal guess... like knowing that many portraits are just of the rich so for lower classes you have to par things down some.  Also just like in modern times there was lots of variety back then.  Just because it wasn't in a picture didn't mean it wasn't there... within reason that is. Which gives you alot of room to play with colors and trims!

That being said it really depends on how historically accurate you want to be as far as fabrics.  I deal mostly with the Age of Sail, pirate stuff, and Elizabethan styles for both man and women....but I am in Texas so there is no way I'm going to be making everything out of wool! 

ANYWAY!  The one thing to remember... don't completely blow off the underpinnings.  The silhouette it what defines the period.  though there isn't a whole lot of info about underpinnings, you can find the basics and if they are done right then they shouldn't hurt. 

Wow that was long.  sorry about that.  happy garbing!

Offline CecilsTanequin

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2008, 11:52:36 AM »
What a great question! I've just had to answer these questions for myself in having to design a new outift for a new character and present the design for approval w/ my guilde-master and costume director. Here's what I would say

. Where do you find the basic research material when you're making a (fairly) historical correct garb? Is it:
I found inspriration primarily through portraits. There are sooo many portraits of the time and by exercising a little taste you can combine the elements you like from each. Like... I like this style of bodice, this design of forepart, this sleeve-treatment, and this hat!

2. If using paintings/portraits as a basis, how do you decide whether it is/they are not allegorical or idealized, or suitable for your project?
Most portraits of the time were pretty accurate and the most idealizing happened in making the sitter look more attractive than they actually were. Just make sure the piece of art you find is dated around that time. The painting of Drake playing boules before the armada is great but not primary research as that myth wasn't propagated until the 19th century.

3. How do you decide what fabrics, materials and colours are plausible?
Written sources?
Paintings/pictures?
Surviving garbs and fabrics?
Other?
Yes yes and yes. When in doubt I go to Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd by Janet Arnold

4. How do you get an idea of what kind of undergarbs and supports to use?
And how do you rate the authenticy of your sources?
Again I go to Janet Arnold and then again, it's understuff so as long as it gives the shape and support that makes the stuff on top look right, then it works.
5. Last, but not least: What era do you usually make garbs from?
And eventually, what region? Or if you've made historical outfits from different eras; which ones?
 I work w/ Elizabethan era court wear with either english, french, spanish, or italian influence appropriate to the character's story.

Hope this helps.

~CT
Guilde of St. George- Bristol
2007-2008 Lady Anne Cecil
2009- Mistress Mary Radcliffe
Kat Brown
Guilde of St. George - Bristol
'07-'08 Lady Anne Cecil
'09-'12 Mistress Mary Radcliffe

Offline operafantomet

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2008, 03:51:34 PM »
Thanks for all these great contributions since I last read here! And from a MAN as well. Bliss.

I think it's so interesting to read other peoples thought about the matter, so thank you all for contributing. And keep it coming... ;)

Offline Lady Isabella

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2010, 09:04:37 PM »
Hope this is the right place for this question..... Does anyone have info about renaissance clothing colors depicting certain counties?
For example, black and red for Spanish, blue and gold for french, orange for German? I have found tons of info about regional styles, and I did read that red dresses were very popular.....any info greatly appreciated.

Offline Queen Maggie

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2010, 10:17:09 AM »
Hope this is the right place for this question..... Does anyone have info about renaissance clothing colors depicting certain counties?
For example, black and red for Spanish, blue and gold for french, orange for German? I have found tons of info about regional styles, and I did read that red dresses were very popular.....any info greatly appreciated.

Lady Isabella, you should start a new thread: otherwise people won't notice a new question.
That said, try looking at the Elizabethan costuming page: drea Leed has some great links to colors from the periods. Remember that in Renn times, not all country boundaries were the same as they are now (the Italies, the Papal State, the Holy Roman Empire, etc) and mostly you;ll find specific colors associated with families rather than with nations... It's a different mind set.
Queen Maggie
wench#617, Bard #013
aka Mistress Mannerly, Goodlief Bailey, Cousin Undine Mannerly, Mother Lowe

Offline operafantomet

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2010, 05:47:35 PM »
That said, try looking at the Elizabethan costuming page: drea Leed has some great links to colors from the periods. Remember that in Renn times, not all country boundaries were the same as they are now (the Italies, the Papal State, the Holy Roman Empire, etc) and mostly you;ll find specific colors associated with families rather than with nations... It's a different mind set.

I second this. Before the 19th century, the idea of a country wasn't quite like how we view it today. For example, Spain and Austria was united in the Holy Roman Empire, at times with Hungary too. They didn't have ONE colour combination, but several, depending on who ruled and what ancestor that person had. Ditto for Italy, where each region or large city was an independent city state. Various families had various heraldic colours, and to make it worse each new wedding between nobility created a new heraldic device, combining the one from the bride with that of the bridegroom.

But moreso than colours it was common to use elements of the heraldic device in the outfits. In Medici portraits, for example, you'll usually find either the pointed diamond, the "palli" (balls) or the Florentine lily*. The various kingdoms and/or city states had colours in their device too, but it was less often adapted for clothes, and mostly for formal occasions as in livré uniforms, at weddings etc.

To offer an interesting example of heraldic symbols and colours, a Bronzino portrait of an unknown woman has recently been identified as Maria Salviati (mother of grand duke Cosimo I de' Medici of Tuscany), based on elements in the portrait:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v31/operafantomet/renaissanceportraits/firenze2/bronzino1533.jpg

Notice the pointed ring she is balancing on her right hand? That's the pointed Medici diamond. Then there's the fleur-de-lis on her collar. She's dressed in white, red and green (not easy to see the green in versions found online), which was one of Medici's device colour combinations (as far as I remember, they had several).

There's also the book behind the chair, which has black silk bands. She was married to a man with the nick name "Bande nere" (black bands), a nice pun by the artist. I seem to remember there was something about the necklace too, but I can't remember what... Add the dog (fidelity) and the similarity to another known portrait of Maria Salviati ( http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v31/operafantomet/renaissanceportraits/firenze2/pontormo1537mariagiulia.jpg ), and it adds up to being a convincing interpretation. But it's not due to the colours alone, it's a combination of various elements.

As already pointed out, the national colours of a country is often a newer phenomenon. Although many countries has had their flags (or elements of it) for centuries, just as many flags and colour schemes are actually from the 19th century, when the nationalistic idea of independent countries blossomed, and when only parts of the old heraldic were brought into the new flag. Also, historical garbs was more based on the intensity of colours (the more intense, the more expensive) to show off a family's splendor. Exceptions were, as mentioned, in uniforms, at grand family occasions etc.


*MEDICI PALLI and DIAMOND:

PALLI IN COAT OF ARMS: http://italian.about.com/library/weekly/aa091599a.htm
DIAMOND IN EMBLEM AND ART: http://www.liv.ac.uk/~spmr02/rings/medici.html
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 01:44:03 PM by operafantomet »

Offline Lady Isabella

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2010, 11:15:41 AM »
Thanks for the info!

Offline Cilean

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2010, 08:56:24 PM »


1. Where do you find the basic research material when you're making a (fairly) historical correct garb? Is it:
Portraits/paintings?  Fashion plates and period descriptions?   Inventory lists, sumptuary legislations and other old official documents?  Archeological material (and if possible, surviving garbs)?  Books, research material and museum info? Or a combination? Please describe.


I would have to say a combination. 
First of all I never leave home without my camera, whether I am going to an SCA event or to a Renaissance Faire, I like to take pictures of what others are making and doing they inspire me to do more.  I also check out other Ren Faires that I do not get to visit as different Faires.  When I first began I would simply make something from what I was told was the correct imagine. 

Then I began to do my own research and I began to look at books like Janet Arnold and Jean Hunnisett. I also began working with other people as well as dress diaries online- which have been a Godsend for me!!  I found extant clothing in Museums.

In the past 5 years I have found Wills and Inventory lists of the rich and famous and sometimes infamous as well as accounts from what was given to Queen Elizabeth I for 12th Night. So now I have research to back up what I am wearing, although it is in the fabrics I choose an colors that fit my personal experience.


2. If using paintings/portraits as a basis, how do you decide whether it is/they are not allegorical or idealized, or suitable for your project?
Or: is this important to you at all?


I took classes in Art History and it really helped me to gain a good descriptive for allegorical as to what is idealized, but that again depends on what I want to make. If I want something that I feel is more of an ideal than a reality? And I am going to put this in for a competition, then I will make sure I explain why I choose what I choose.


3. How do you decide what fabrics, materials and colours are plausible?
Written sources? Paintings/pictures?  Surviving garbs and fabrics? Other?


I do a lot of research into extant fabrics of the period in which I want to bring to life.  Again this was not done when I was younger but as I got really into creating good facsimiles of what was worn.  I have been lucky enough to get to several Museums around the world and I have luckier still to correspond with costumers who help me to pick out good fabrics and colors. 

4. How do you get an idea of what kind of under garb and supports to use?  And how do you rate the authenticy of your sources?

Research, doing it myself, reading others and making choices.  We were told bumroll were always worn and now it is not true and is classified to the 1580's  we are evolving, changing and refining. With the advent of the internet and people's research being available to more and more costumers, we are able to make better fitting and more historically accurate clothing.  For an example with regards to Bumrolls; in Savoy's Book you were told Women wore it all of the time, but now? We know this not to be true that it was probably worn only under the French Wheel which makes sense in that capacity.  Or the 'Shudder' use of the term Corset and not Pair of Bodies and the Corset that is now being labeled as an Elizabethan Corset that does not have shoulder straps!! The only extant Pair of Bodies we have have shoulder straps. the ones we see are directly from Savoy's book and has not been shown to be correct at all.



5. Last, but not least: What era do you usually make garb from?  And eventually, what region? Or if you've made historical outfits from different eras; which ones?

My Era is 1540's to 1580's England, France and Spain, before the French Wheel came into fashion. Italian City States I adore from 1460's to the 1580's.

I have delved into Regency Frocks and Steam Punk for sheer Whimsy.


Cilean

Lady Cilean Stirling
"Looking Good is not an Option, It is a Necessity"
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Offline JP yard troll

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2010, 03:03:38 AM »
another man( tailor not seamstress ) here and I do about what everone else is doing paintings historical reference works and anything else I can get my hands and eyes on, I like to use the best fabrics I can find, but will use whatever the person who comissions the piece wants, I also will let them pick patterns that they like that my or may not be accurate as well as may be far fetched fantasy.
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Offline DressArtMystery

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Re: Research questions
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2015, 01:41:14 AM »
1. Where do you find the basic research material when you're making a (fairly) historical correct garb?
Well, when I am up for the historically accurate costume the first thing I look at are paintings and period descriptions. This provides me with a basic understanding of the period and what should I look into more closely. The next step is books, research material and museum info. Sometimes it is enough. When I'm searching for specific details - I am also looking into old official documents, like inventory lists of specific regiment, etc.

2. If using paintings/portraits as a basis, how do you decide whether it is/they are not allegorical or idealized, or suitable for your project?
Usually I am looking at paintings to get the very basic understanding of the period. I always keep in mind that paintings until 17 century generally show the upper-class in their best closes. Especially this goes for 14-15 century engravings.

3. How do you decide what fabrics, materials and colours are plausible?
All three actually. It really depends what I am aiming for - a full historical reconstruction or just replicating accurately the style of the period.

4. How do you get an idea of what kind of undergarbs and supports to use?

Research of the subject, museum info.

5. Last, but not least: What era do you usually make garbs from?
I began with 1380-1420 historical reenactment (France). Now I am more focused on later periods. I love Italian Renaissance, Victorian, Rococo and Edwardian eras. Usually the garbs don't pass the requirements for full reconstruction (like handmade seams, etc), but they are still quite accurate.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 01:41:42 AM by DressArtMystery »
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