Thursday, 24 February 2011

Not Quite Waterhouse's Miranda: Linen Kirtle and Cotehardie

The underdress (or kirtle) is in red linen and is laced under the arm. The overgown (or cotehardie to use the more controversial term) is in a coarse teal linen and is buttoned down the front.

Not half as windswept and certainly without the sinking ship, but still slightly reminiscent of John William Waterhouse's Miranda which was what inspired this simple medieval-esque ensemble. The sketch was done quite a few months ago, though without much intention of ever being made then. The shape of the sleeves have altered somewhat and we added the buttons down the front. It does seem a shame to have the lovely red linen kirtle is almost completely hidden by the overgown. It is possible to construct it as one garment like the banquet dress recently sketched.

There's a temptation to ramble about the colours and symbolism, repressed passion and unleashed tempests, but it seems somewhat far-fetched. And the Pillywiggen would probably never forgive me.

Like the rest of Shakespeare's work, the Tempest has been having a healthy afterlife. Most recently, The Tempest recently been made into a film with albeit quite a different aesthetic, though their costume designer, Sandy Powel, did get nominated an Academy Award for her work in it.

The orc dagger and other weapons are, as usual, from Character Kit.

To commission a similar kirtle or overgown individually would cost in the region £40-50, though a set would cost £70-90. To buy the prototype set (sized to a UK size 16, but somewhat adjustable) from the Costume Mercenary would cost in the region of £70.

More photos of the Miranda under the cut.

Red kirtle:

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