Friday, March 23, 2012

Filippo Lippi and the Great Tunic; Or, How I Cheated Historical Accuracy

      For a few weeks, my Italian 4 teacher debated whether to assign us an Italian Renaissance Art project or not. We're going on a trip to the met next week, and because I kept nagging him, he decided to assign the project.

      My artist was from the 15th century, Fra Filippo Lippi. I'll post later about all of his exciting debaucheries...Anywho, since I only had a week for the project, and I was hell-bent on making a costume of sorts, I had to resort to making something simple.

      My parents weren't able to take me to the fabric store in the beginning of the week, so I focused on the presentation and research aspect of the project. By Wednesday, I realized that time was running out (I had to present on Friday!) so I rummaged though the cluttered storage room in our basement and found an old sheet to use: it was the bottommost sheet that had shrunk and could no longer fit over my parents' bed. The fabric was probably better than any I'd ever find in a fabric store: it was very wide, and the white cotton was printed with a sort of cream damask pattern, which gave it some nice dimension.

These were my inspiration portraits. Look for the angel/ servant/ Saint wearing a long dress with fitted sleeves and a waist pouf (correct terminology?):

I started by measuring out a rectangle of 65 by 58 inches (65 height, 58 width). I drafted sleeves, and made them purposely long. The waist "pouf" is achieved by a small belt of elastic. Fancy, right? The neckline is box-pleated, bound in bias tape, with a drawstring (mainly for decoration). I actually REALLY liked how this turned out. It felt more flattering than my Chemise a la Reine.

That Friday, I just walked into school dressed like this, even though we have a uniform. My Italian teacher wrote me a pass, but even though all these teachers gave me weird looks, no one asked for a pass. I guess I was so unusual that no one questioned it? Anywho, I heard these really funny things in the hallway that day:

"Hurry up Princess Leia!"
"Did you see the girl dressed as Jesus?"

It's hard to tell but I did my hair up in the double Swiss braids. I strung some pearl beads onto bobby pins with wire, and then stuck them into the braids for some hair action.

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