September 29, 2009

Of 16th century fashion and withdrawal symptoms

I know, I promised you pictures of my recent vintage/thrift finds. And I haven't delivered. Tomorrow I'll make up for it, I promise.

I'm feeling a bit out of touch with the sewing world, since I now know I'll be without my sewing machine for at least another week. I did make some fitting samples for a friend over at M's place today and I managed to come up with one knit design for which I could really get away with using my serger only, but overall withdrawal has set in nicely...

Knitting isn't really my sort of thing and although I finished the cowl-thingy I started on, I'm not happy with the result (the yarn was from stash and didn't last anywhere near as long as I hoped). And although I love pattern making, all that paperwork without even being able to try out a single thing get discouraging after a while.

Now the complaining is over and done with, I should tell you something. There was a reason why I mentioned my recent DVD-viewing to you in my last post. Costumes! Whenever I focus on something, I tend to develop some form of professional deformation (literally translated from Dutch, so I'm not sure whether or not that makes any sense in English) pretty quickly. So whatever I'm watching, I can't help but notice the costumes.

The Tudors is a wonderful recent historical series from the BBC (they just finished broadcasting season 3) about the life of Henry VIII. Despite being quite a history buff, I loved every bit of it. As far as I can tell the series is fairly historically acurate (although somewhere on the web, someone mentioned how by season 3, king Henry is looking way too handsome. That someone is right, but who would really want that to be different? After all, TV is a visual expierence first)

The costumes are very nice indeed. Rich in detail and you can actually see the passage of time in the changing fashion as well as in the aging of the characters. I have spotted some (mostly) ladies' styles which I don't believe to be genuine 16th century fashion. Anne Boleyn's dancing costume from season 1 for example, and at the end of season 2, you see Jane Seymore in a dress which shows her natural body shape, not as you'd expect, the angular lines of period corsetry.
One thing I missed in particular, was a fashion said to be introduced at the Tudor court by Anne Boleyn. The lady supposedly had an extra digit on one hand which she would try to hide with a clever choice of clothing. In her time as queen she introduced dresses with long, trailing sleeves or decorations at the sleeve which would cover part of a lady's hand.

These comments however, should not even be considered criticism. Of course, choices have to be made when the 'look' of a TV-series is created and it would be impossible to put every detail in.

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