Thursday, July 28, 2011
So, what's next on the agenda?
Trying to break up my days into two separate crafting/sewing pieces. My kingdom got inspired by the IRCC and, as a result, the Artemisian Costuming Challenge has been issued. Because I'm crazy, I signed on to make another 4 layer outfit. This one needs to be done by New Year's Eve. Its going to be late 16th century Muscovite.
I was trying to convince myself to not get going on it until the Italian ensemble was totally done, but that hasn't gone so well. I'm far too excited about it. You know how it goes, nothing more exciting than a new project. So, the new plan is to get started with the planning on the Russian outfit, but I'm not allowed to think about it until I've got my IRCC "chores" done for the day. Today's morning work was the the finish finish work on the camisia and sealing the chopines so they are ready to start covering tomorrow. After wearing the camisia for the wedding, I sort of put it aside. I needed to finish the hem and cuffs but kept putting it off since it was wearable. I think that's pretty standard isn't it? Get it to the almost done stage and feel secure about it and then procrastinate the last few bits? Its certainly one of my tendencies. Its truly finished this time. Just need to was it and press it for the photo shoot. I gave the chopines one last sand and I think I'm satisfied with the shape. Tomorrow they finally get covered. Really. They will be finished soon. Honest.
There we go. On schedule for finishing the IRCC. So, I can get thinking about my Rus outfit.
Russian costuming is a bit different than Italian. Its not quite as easy as picking a portrait. (Not that Italian is quite that easy either, I do understand that.) There are no portraits from late 16th century Russia. The painting style was iconographic. There are lots of ways to go about figuring out what might have been worn. I plan to use a variety of them. I will be looking at written descriptions from "travelers tales" to start with. There are a few pieces of extant (primarily ecclesiastical) embroidery and I've been doing research in that area for quite some time. There are also both ethnographical and traditional studies of clothing to be looked at. So, that's the not quite as accessible sourcing. I've been digging into frescos, illuminations and other bits and pieces for a couple of years now and have been keeping notebooks of things I want to include in my "dream dress." But, the best for just plain oogling and sighing over beautiful Russian clothes, are pictures from a ball thrown in 1903 in the Winter Palace. It was a masquerade ball and everyone dressed up as people from the 16th/17th centuries. They hauled out extant gowns and embroideries and had them refurbished for the occasion. Just breathtaking stuff. Here are some pictures. and the New York Public Librar's digital archive has a copy of a souvenir book put out after the event.
One of my favorite pieces is this dress worn by Empress Alexandra Fedorovnova
The dress is based on one in a painting by Grigory Sedov depicting Tsar Alexis choosing his bride. Its been recently restored and is in the Hermitage Museum. Here it is at the ball.
I was really tempted to do this dress as is because its gorgeous and I love the gold and pearls, but the painting is from the 19th century. Probably about as good as I'm going to find, but its a dress made in 1903 representing an artist's interpretation in the 1860's of what the future Empress was wearing in the 1640's. If I'm going to be creative, I may as well get my own vision. It'll make it a lot easier to work with the materials I have as well, if I'm not trying to do a copy.
Tomorrow, the sketch pad comes out and I dig through the stash after I do more work on the IRCC. I need to get the partlet done quickly. If I get it done then, since the jewelery and hat are complete, I will be that much closer to having everything from the waist up complete.