Monday, 10 August 2015
Great Queens of History
Catherine de Medici is rumoured to have introduced the wearing of drawers into France from Italy, but it was a long long time until such things became popular in England. Not until the sheer clinging styles of the Regency period in Britain did women start to wear underwear that now we wouldn't leave the house without (well, most of us anyway). And before then wearing such things was considered risque, not the lack of them.
So Catherine got her drawers while both Anne and Elizabeth had only their shifts to cover their modesty. All of them wear the same style of shift a this didn't change over a very long period, and I decorated them all with different patterns of blackwork. After this the underwear for each starts to differ, with Catherine and Anne needing softer stays while Elizabeth gets a stiff unbending corset. Catherine wears 2 petticoats of mustard coloured cotton lawn trimmed with gold lace under one of gold silk jacquard. Anne has one of red, one of Embroidery Anglaise, and another of fine white cotton lawn embroidered with Tudor roses. And Elizabeth has a red petticoat under one of thick stiff linen decorated with a wide tapestry band instead of a Farthingale (either were worn to hold the large skirt shapes).
Catherine is a very smart sophisticated French Queen who is often shown by her portraits wearing black silk. I made her an underskirt of white silk decorated with gold and ruby coloured glass beading which she wears under a split over skirt, Barely visible over her neck and shoulders she has a silk panel before the square neckline of her gown, and her sleeves are simple with slight lace cuffs. She has a ruff of white and gold lace tied tightly at the neck, and her whole gown is decorated with an edging of gold lace and silver lined beads, ruby glass beads and tiny tiny pearls. On her head she wears her French Hood that I made using millinery sisal silk fabric, silk organza for the veil to hang in back and more beads and pearls. At her neck hand gold chains and a sparkling tear-drop shaped jewel.
On her head Elizabeth wears a pearl and gold tiara with a crystal jewel to match the one she has hanging at her neck. The back of her hair is decorated with loops of gold beading and pearl hair sticks.
I hope I can show you her very soon xxx