A Step Through Time

"Conspicuous Consumption with Elegance"

Reconstructing History

Venetian Noble Women's Dress

Late Sixteenth Century

 

Patterns

The seam lines of the bodice is along the slight back of the shoulders and the side back.  This can be seen in the Juan de Alcega 1589, Spanish tailors hand book, and the Janet Arnolds Patterns of Fashion 1560 - 1620, studies of existent garments.  Also in some portraits the seam lines have been painted in.  

The seam lines for the front opening is either parallel or in a V shape.  The parallel opening is simply taken back an inch or more either side of the centre front to create the open front effect.   The V opening is similar but the opening is marked at an inch or more either side of the centre front opening at the top of the bodice, the neckline, and then ruled straight down to where the centre front is at the bottom of the bodice, the adjusted waist line.  Thus giving the V shape. 

Armholes are not excessive and are of a normal shape and proportion.  The neckline is taken out wide at the shoulder.  The resultant shoulder strap between the armhole and the neckline sits on the point of the shoulder. 

The waistline is marked at the natural waist at the sides and then the length is added to the centre front and back.  The skirt is not cut in tapered gores as seen in the Juan de Alcega 1589, Spanish tailors hand book, rather in the straight panels of fabric.  There is a gradient cut into the waist line of the skirt from the natural waist line to the centre front and back, to accommodate the gradient in the bodice.  

 

Unknown Artist mid 16th century Venice.  Painting shows side seam slightly to the rear instead of the centre of the torso. The pattern from Juan de Alcega 1589, Spanish tailors hand book shows a longer shoulder strap from the front bodice piece and shorter at the back.  It also shows the side seams are more to the back than truly at the side.  A very low V cut to the front of the bodice as in Venetian gowns is also present in this particular pattern, number 60 in the tailors’ book.
Dress study form Janet Arnolds Patterns of Fashion 1560 - 1620, showing the seam lines for an Italian under gown about 1560.  Side seam and shoulder seams are towards the back Dress study form Janet Arnolds Patterns of Fashion 1560 - 1620, showing the seam lines for an Italian gown about 1560.  Side seam and shoulder seams are towards the back

All of these images shows the side back seams. 

 

Home  Contact Me

Front Page  Introduction  Principles of Design  1555 Titian  1560 Veronese  1570 Veronese  1580 Vicellio  Accessories  Lace  Textiles  Patterns  About the Designers  Further Reading

 

All intellectual content, composition, layout, designs and photographs, unless otherwise noted are copyright 2007 to Deborah Lane ©, or, copyright 2003 to Deborah Murray © also known as Mistress Oonagh O'Neill ©. All Original renaissance art works and artefacts are not copyright to Deborah Murray, and are shown for educational use only .  If you see something you'd really like to use, please contact me!

1