Ms. Mannequin’s 15th Century Burgundian Gown and Headdress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Manuscript Illustration from 1470, this Manuscript Illustration from 1401-1500, this one from the same work, and this Manuscript Illustration from 1475

A Burgundian gown for a paper doll based on illuminated manuscript illustrations. Along with the gown, there is a headdress based on the designs of the 1450s.

A Burgundian gown for a paper doll based on illuminated manuscript illustrations. Along with the gown, there is a headdress based on the designs of the 1450s.

Today’s paper doll dress and headdress are both from the 15h century. The gown is known as a Burgundian gown named for the Duchy of Burgundy.

About 1450, this style of Burgundian gown became popular. The deep V-neckline revealed the kirtle (under dress) beneath. The trimming would have been fur or wool. The wide belt was placed above the natural waist and gives the gowns a pregnant look.

(Remember, being pregnant was a good thing for women in this time. After all, fertility was seen as a super critical part of a woman’s value.)

Women never had uncovered hair in this era. So, I needed a headdress to go with the Burgundian gown.

The headdress I chose to draw was based on this illustration of the Whore of Babylon from an 1470 manuscript. The headdress is from 1450, according to the Morgan Library where the manuscript is housed. I’m afraid I don’t know quite enough about the era yet (though I am studying) to make any claim either way.

By the way, the wonderful book Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325-1515 is currently on sale from the Morgan Library for just 20 dollars. I bought a copy for my library and I’d recommend it if you are at all interested in medieval dress. Though it doesn’t touch on how these garments were made, nor does it discuss how to make them yourself, so… don’t buy it if that is what you want.

Secondary Sources:

Houston, Mary G. Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th, and 15th Centuries. N.p.: Dover Publications, 1996. Print.

Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages. N.p.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011. Print.

Scott, Margaret. Medieval Dress & Fashion. N.p.: British Library, 2009. Print.

Ask me if you have any questions about the books or the manuscripts I looked at. There are links to all the manuscript illustrations at the top under the “inspiration” links list. I was just too lazy tonight to bother citing them all properly.

I know. I’m a rebel librarian sometimes. Happy Friday!

A 1300s Fashion Paper Doll

1300s-historical-paper-doll-logo Once again, we are dabbling in the 1300s with today’s paper doll. There’s no new sources for this one, so if you want to know what I referenced, than I would recommend returning to my last paper doll of the 1300s with a sources list at the bottom.

One of my goals for 2016 was to draw ten historical paper dolls. I confess I am far from achieving that goal and we’re halfway though the year (nearly), so I seriously need to get my act together on this one. So, my goal for the next few days is to buckle down and get some drawing, scanning and finishing done.

We’ll see how that goes.

I have a few days off work and I always start these things with a long list of “goals”, but I fear my plans are often larger than my capacity. Still, I’m out of backlog and nothing is as good as an artist motivation as desperation.

A 1300s fashion paper doll coloring page with a five piece wardrobe. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Picking out colors wasn’t very hard, since I seem to always come back to the same ones when it comes to the 1300s. I blame it on medieval manuscripts I have seen. I always think of the 14th century was being red and blue and gold.

Sterotypical, perhaps, but none the less. There we are.

A 1300s fashion paper doll with a five piece wardrobe. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Between my new 1300s Buxom and Bodacious paper doll, my viking paper doll, and my Cranach paper doll, we’re starting to get a pretty nice set of early Western Fashions. I keep promising myself I’ll do one from a decade of the 19th century, but I can’t pick one. So, 19th century B&B series suggestions would be welcomed.

Lastly, I hope everyone has a delightful week.

Tibbets and Kirtles in Color: A Printable Paper Doll of the 1300s

logo-1300-colorLast week, we got to see my mid-1300s paper doll set in black and white. This week, here she is in color. Historical printable paper dolls always make me a little nervous. In inevitably, choices have to be made about what to include or not include and how to render a period’s fashion. These choices are easier the more you know about the period and harder the less you know. One of the reasons I often turn to Medieval inspired or Renaissance inspired rather than actual historical paper dolls is the knowledge that I don’t know enough to always make appropriate choices.

What I am not comfortable doing is always trusting the many sites out there that don’t cite their sources with enough detail to actually find the material if you needed it or want to confirm it’s authenticity. While I love the internet, I find that I don’t use it that much when I am doing this sort of research. I seem to fall back on my library training and rely on reputable secondary sources published in scholars with names in the field, backed up my own knowledge of solid collections of digitized medieval manuscripts where I can dig for source images, plus a few tumblers and blogs that seem to know what they are doing.

And this method worked great until I got down the problem of color. Now, I always think of the 1300s as being richly red and blue and gold, because those are colors I have seen in medieval manuscripts. Just because, however, they made a dress red in a book doesn’t mean the dress was commonly red in real life. Pigments used for illumination aren’t the same a pigments used for dyeing cloth and medieval art is heavy on analogy and symbolism.

1300-historical-paper-doll-color
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What I really didn’t want to do was do a ton a research on natural dye processes, because a lot of people have written a lot on the topic. Textile fragments like this one, an incredible velvet cope or this equally amazing cope from the V&A Collections proved to me that colors were rich in the 1300 hundreds. So, I used those images along with this Medieval Colors article from Aux Mailles Godefroy. The resulting colors are a little more muted than was probably possible in the 1300s, but I just couldn’t get over my preconceived notions of muted tones despite seeing examples of bright yellows produced with natural dyes. The truth is that both linen and wool, common fabrics in the 1300s, take dye really well. The world was likely a lot more vibrant than my preconceived notions of history suggest.

By the way, most of my primary and secondary sources for this paper doll set are listed on the black and white version. It was a long list and I didn’t want to repeat it here. So go check that out, if you want to see what I used to create my mid-1300’s paper doll.

Tibbets and Kirtles: A Paper Doll of the Mid-1300s

logo-1300-bwToday’s printable paper doll is from the mid-1300s when set in sleeves came into existence and fashion was all about layers and hanging strips of fabric off sleeves called “tibbets.”

There are topics upon which I can speak authoritatively and there are topics where I know basically nothing. I would say that I am fairly knowledgeable about certain periods of Western dress, but there are others that are beyond me. As someone who just isn’t that into the medieval period in Europe (though it is growing on me), I have never spent much time doing research. After last years adventures in the 10th century, I knew I wanted to explore some more early periods and the 1300s seemed like a smart choice.

I settled on the 14th century (or the 1300s), because I’ve been wanting to illustrate that period ever since I stumbled across the entire Roman d’Alexandre digitized from the Bodleian Library which is full of illustrations of ladies in fashionable dress. As I usually do, I cobbled together my decisions about this paper doll from a variety of secondary and primary sources. One website that deserves a shout-out is Illumanu which not only posts manuscript images, actually cites them properly. Makes the librarian in me so happy.

1300-historical-paper-doll-black-white
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A few specific choices I should note. The pattern on the sidecut surcoat was from Romance of Alexander from the Bodlein Library. The far left dress is based on this casket lid from the Met and the Romance of Alexander from the Bodlein Library folio 181 verso. The green dress on the far left seems to have buttons down the front and hanging sleeves. The other two gowns are mixtures of literally dozens of primary and secondary sources. You can check out below some of the sources I used.

The stockings are scrunched below the knee. I wasn’t able to find any records of garters being worn in the 1300s. The shoes are both from Stepping through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric times until 1800 which I would totally buy if I could find it for a reasonable price. I also designed a new face for this paper doll. I like it a lot, so it might become a regular member of the family. I haven’t decided yet. What do you all think?

Selected Sources:

Books:

Buren, Anne Van., and Roger S. Wieck. Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325-1515. New York: Morgan Library & Museum, 2011.
Crowfoot, Elisabeth, Frances Pritchard, and Kay Staniland. Textiles and Clothing, C. 1150-1450. London: HMSO, 1992.
Goubitz, Olaf, Carol Van. Driel-Murray, and Willy Groenman-Van Waateringe. Stepping through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric times until 1800. Zwolle: Stichting Promotie Archeologie, 2001.
Newton, Stella Mary. Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince: A Study of the Years 1340-1365. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1980.
Nunn, Joan. Fashion in Costume 1200-2000, Revised. Lanham: New Amsterdam, 2000.
Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.
Scott, Margaret. Medieval Dress & Fashion. London: British Library, 2007.

Manscript Illustrations:

Instructions for Kings, in French
MS M.456, 55v–56r
France, Paris(?) circa 1330–35
Morgan Library and Museum

Jacques de Longuyon, Vows of the Peacock, in French
MS G.24, 25v–26r
Belgium, Tournai circa 1345–50
Morgan Library and Museum

Speculum humanae salvationis
Hs 2505, 37r
Westphalia or Cologne, circa 1360
Technische Universität Darmstadt

Giovanni Boccaccio, De Claris mulieribus…
Français 598, 134r
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
France, circa 1403

Roman d’Alexandre
MS. Bodl. 264, 47r, 97r, 97v, 120v, 121r, 127v, 163v, 169r, 168v, 171r, 172r, 172v, 173r, 181r, 181v, 191r, 196v, 197v, 204r
Bodleian Library
Flanders, circa 1344