(Hare de Luna) was willing to give it a go. She's a fabulous hair braider and our local seneschal so she definitely "gets" what I was going for. She's also recently become fascinated with retro hair, so I was in good hands.
I hit the beauty supply and picked up some sponge forms used for buns to use as rats for front height as well as some kankelon braid to make the back bun. My hair is waist length. It is even relatively thick, but it just isn't enough to pull off the big height in front and large bun in back.
Construction is pretty basic. I just cut a piece of buckram or net into a large circle and then cut a slit into the circle so I could shape it into a conelike shape that would curve over my regular bun. Then I braided the hair and coiled it, tacking it into place. For the pearls, the pearls were twisted around the braid before it was stitched into place. The gold cord in the other one was stitched in later.
Tabitha did a part at about the middle of my ear pulling the back into a bun and putting the bun cover on. We decided to use the larger hair piece (that I made for the ACC) which has a center bun as well as additional loose braids that I usually wear over the top of my head. In this case she just pinned them around the center bun making a gigantic braided bun.
Edit. Just adding a couple of links to the portraits used for inspiration. (At Angela Bacci's sitem which seems so ofter the case. :) )
I think we came pretty close to this one http://starlightmasquerade.com/PortraitGallery/Ladder-Laced-Venetian/inspiration-pages/openbodice68.htm
That same Montemezzano that keeps popping up with a double roll http://starlightmasquerade.com/PortraitGallery/Ladder-Laced-Venetian/inspiration-pages/openbodice18.htm
3 different women with the same arched roll http://starlightmasquerade.com/PortraitGallery/Ladder-Laced-Venetian/inspiration-pages/openbodice110.htm
Tabby rolled the middle down and the sides back since rolling the center back gave me more of an English look and lost the definition of the arches on either side.