This gown is the result of a trip to Florence in September 2015, for a conference with the Early Modern Dress Network. I did quite a lot of 15th cnetury Italian when I first joined the SCA in 1993, but I haven't done it since the mid-90s. But the trip and the conference really made me enthusiastic about the period and the style again. Especially since there were presentations both about a partly preserved gown from the period, which used to belong to Osanna Andreasi, also known as St. Osanna of Mantua, and about Ghirlandaio the painter. Adding the wonders of Santa Maria Novella I decided to have a go at the Quattrocento again.
Dr. Elisa Tosi Brandi who made the pesentation has also written an article about the gown, which can be found here, at academia.edu, which I used a lot for the construction of the gown.
At the time I was working on using up my stash of fabric, so I decided to use rayon damask cutains that I bought many years ago. I see it both as a wearable test for a later version in silk and as something nice and comfortable that I don't have to be excessively careful with at outdoors events.
This is what I made then:
But, having lost weight I had to remake the bodice entirely. The previous version (more photos here) had narrow strips of plastic whalebone at the opening to keep the edges from puckering, but the new version only has one row of hemp cord sewn to the selvedges of the bodice before turning it. It is also lined with two layers of sturdy linen, and that seems to be enough to keep the boobs in place.
I needed to re-make all the lacing holes of course -and to make it even harder I had noticde that most Italian 15th century gowns had the lacing contuinug below the waistline. For example on this bust from 1462 showing Marietta Strozzi:
I also noted that quite a few of the gowns had some kind of trim aorund the neckline, so I sewed metal trim on, fittingly enough bought at Passamaneria Vallmar in Florence :)
I kept the v-neck in the back taken from the preserved gown.
The skirt pieces are gored, like Osanna's, and then pleated to the waist, inspired by for example Francesco della Cossa's The triumph of Venus.
The shift is just a normal rectangular shift, no gathers or anything, just wide enough sleeves to make a little puff at the split sleeves of the gown.
My hair is tied up with a cotton tape, like this. (text in Swedish, but the images work anyway I think).