Wednesday, 5 January 2011

An Extravagance for the Eye: Early Renaissance Gown

The gown draws heavily from gowns of the early renaissance, specifically of Venice. It's a veritable patchwork of period elements that will no doubt make the lovely people over at GoFugThyself want gouge their eyes out.

But it is rather too tempting to dabble in the described by some as an "extravagance for the eye." Especially after revisiting the sumptuously costumed if extremely problematic Dangerous Beauty (there was once a page of caps on the Period Movies Blog, but it seems to have vanished).

Whilst certainly inspired by history, this gown is by now means accurate and in some ways, that I'm wandering around a dubiously romanticised recreation of Venice in the photos is rather appropriate. I am neither wearing the fascinating and very fashionable chopines of the era nor do I have my hair in an exciting headdress.

The giornea and sleeves are of black silk velvet and the shift is of cotton (the sleeves aren't quite long enough, but it was the only out of the wash at the time). It's all laced together with black ribbon (and may I add it takes forever to get into this dress - it really isn't a gown for someone looking for quick costume changes.)

The lighting in many of these photos is so strange because of the fact that we aren't actually outdoors as they are taken at inside Macau's Venetian, hardly the "dreamed of city." The camera seemed to go into overcompensation with the lighting and the results are certainly interesting.

It was when I was looking for the exhibition photos of the asymmetrical naval coat that I unearthed these photos from my trip to Macau almost half a year ago. It had seemed appropriate to gamble (read: play slots) with an over the top "Marie Antoinette" gown on and once I was on that train of thought, swanning through The Venetian in a similarly themed gown was only a small step away.

More photos of the early renaissance gown under the cut.

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