Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, Replicas

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To enhance appreciation for the fashions of the era, four full-scale replicas of late medieval ensembles are presented, using period hand-sewing techniques and authentic materials—including silk velvet, gold brocade, linen, straw, and ermine. One is of the youth in the blue cote hardy from the Vows of the Peacock, indicative of the "Fashion Revolution." Another is the luxuriously embroidered houpeland of the aristocratic huntsman from the Livre de la chass. The voluminous gown and towering turret worn by Geneviève in the Romance of Tristan is brought to life in three-dimensional reality. Also featured is the houpeland of Catherine of Cleves, a replica on loan from Museum Het Valkhof in the city of Nijmegen, the Netherlands; the garment recreates the elaborate ensemble she wears while giving alms.



Photo of Catherine of Cleves dress re-creationDetail from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves Orange houpeland (velvet) lined with fur (synthetic ermine) and with a belt (wool and silk), worn over a gold cote hardy (silk brocade), with hair in temples (silk, velvet, straw) with a veil (linen).

Re-creation designed by Corinne Roes of Atelier Mette Maelwael, The Netherlands, after the Hours of Catherine of Cleves; Utrecht, The Netherlands, ca. 1440 (MS M.917, p. 65).

On loan from Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
(© Stichting Woud der Verwachting).

Vows of the Peacock re-creation Blue cote hardy (wool with pewter buttons), with white lined tippets (linen), worn over a red kirtle (wool) and red chaussembles (wool and leather), with a green dagged chaperon (wool lined with linen).

Re-creation designed and made by Corinne Roes of Atelier Mette Maelwael, The Netherlands, after Jacques de Longuyon's Vows of the Peacock; Tournai, Belgium, ca. 1345–50 (ms g.24, fol. 25v).

Yellow gown (silk doupion) with black collar, cuffs, and hem (crushed silk velvet), white belt (silk doupion), and black turret (silk taffeta and crushed silk velvet) with transparent veil (silk organdy).

Re-creation designed and made by Corinne Roes of Atelier Mette Maelwael, The Netherlands, after the Romance of Tristan; Bourges(?) France, 1468 (ms m.41, fol.

Blue houpeland (silk velvet) lined with fur (synthetic grey) and embroidered with gold (silk yarn), with lilac collar and epaulettes (wool), worn over a lilac pourpoint (wool) and chaussembles (wool and leather), and with a black bonnet (astrakhan lined with wool).

Re-creation designed and made by Corinne Roes of Atelier Mette Maelwael, The Netherlands (and machine-embroidered at the Audax Textielmuseum Tilburg, The Netherlands), after Gaston Phoebus's Livre de la chasse; Paris, France, ca. 1406 (ms m.1044, fol. 42v).