Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cardinal Robes

This is one of those projects where I had the chance to throw historical accuracy out the window and play with aesthetic rather than pouring over pictures and trying to get every last detail right.

I was asked to make cardinal robes for Jake to wear to a "Heaven and Hell" party. He wanted something that mimicked the look of Cardinal Wolsey in The Tudors. We played around with a lot of pictures that were released from the show and mixed together different ideas until we had a concept we both liked.

The robes are made out of red cotton velvet and lined with white cotton. The buttons are silver with stylized crosses.

The pattern was modified from Margo Anderson's Elizabethan Women's Wardrobe and it was loosely based on the women's comfort gown. The pattern had to be adapted quite a bit in the length and shoulders to make it fit a gentleman of Jake's height. I wanted to make it as loose and comfortable as possible, since it was going to be worn primarily at Pennsic parties and the last thing anyone wants to be doing at a party is fussing with their clothes.

My favorite part of the project was the "rosary." Since the entire concept for the outfit was a bit blasphemous- as was the party it was being worn to- we decided to go all out.

The beads were black onyx with silver skulls. The beads and skulls came from Fire Mountain Gems. Unfortunately, I can't remember where we got the cross from.

Apparently, there was a historical precedent for skull rosaries in the 16th century, so we weren't too terribly far off.

Picture taken from Sapphire and Sage, who cite it as being a "Skull Rosary, Late 16th Century, Spain." They also offer really cool replicas for sale, as well as some other pretty amazing jewelry for garb.

While I didn't get to attend the "Heaven and Hell" party, Jake did report back to me that the outfit was a hit, and over three years later it's still one of his favorites. I have to admit that it's one of mine too, although it is still a bit disturbing to watch his transformation into "religious figure."

1 comment:

Maddy Joy said...

WOW !!!
its really very different ...looking cool and comfortable...
Cotton Bathrobes