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Tag Archives: 1660s

Portraits of 17th Century Fashion

While I’m finishing up accessories for my Napoleonic project, let’s talk about the 17th century!

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ca. 1664 Margaret Brooke, Lady Denham by Sir Peter Lely (Sheffield Museums)

I’m interested in 1660s and 1670s baroque fashion, which broadly speaking consists of a fully-boned bodice with a pointed front, wide neckline, full sleeves, and double-chins. (Yes, “soft features” were considered fashionable).

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1667 Portrait of a Woman by Joannes Buns

There are many solid-colored gowns in portraiture, but the elaborate lace trim down the front of the gown was also very common.

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1662 Married Couple in the Park attributed to Gonzales Coques (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)

The 17th century is full of crazy hair. A lot of the hairstyles remind me of a cocker spaniel, full and curly at top.

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 Portrait of Maria Mancini by a Follower of Jacob Ferdinand Voet, sold by Bonhams Auctions

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c. 1670s Maria Kazimiera (Casimira) d’Arquien, Queen of Poland by Voet

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ca. 1670 Principessa Laura Caterina Altieri by Jacob Ferdinand Voet (Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Venizia)

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1669. Portrait of Suzanna Doublet Huygens by Caspar Netscher from The Leiden Collection

If you like bows upon bows check out the Infanta Margarita Teresa.

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  (c. 1662-1664) Infanta Margarita Teresa, by anonymous at the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna

My dress for the Costume College Gala will be inspired by this portrait of Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany and his wife Vittoria Della Rovere. Although there are many flamboyantly-colored gowns from the time period, the little goth inside my heart wants a black gown.

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Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany and his wife Vittoria Della Rovere by Justus Sustermans  at the National Gallery in London

My gown won’t be an exact reproduction but I plan to make a similar jewelry set. Look at those giant pearls! They look like they would be deadly if swung in the wrong direction.

2017 Costuming Plans

I have three large projects planned for 2017, although I’m sure little projects will pop up in between if I get invited to events or get distracted by shiny things. I’m happy to report that I already have most of the materials on hand for my three projects, much of it acquired through some lucky bargains!

Regency court dress

I am not planning to reproduce this exact outfit, but this picture is to give you an idea of what I have in mind. I will be making a beaded Regency evening dress, for which I already have the materials (courtesy of Fabric Wholesale Direct). I’ve started on the dress so that will be the focus of my next series of posts. The color and type of fabric I will be using for the train has not been decided and will depend on what I can get for a reasonable price.

1660s Cavalier gown

I’ve never made a 1660s outfit before, so this is an era that is new to me. Although I think satin might be a little more appropriate, I will be making this out of black silk taffeta because I happen to have it in my stash (from the wonderful $5/yard sale from Fabric Mart!) Although I had already picked out this dress to make for the gala at Costume College this year before the theme was announced, it ended up being the perfect choice. The theme will be “Dinner at Tiffany’s” so a black dress with pearls is quite appropriate!

Crimson Peak picnic outfit

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I already have the right color silk for the skirt due to a serendipitous find from a friend’s garage sale! I won’t be able to find the exact lace for the blouse but I have something with a similar feel. The biggest challenge will be sculpting the hand belt. This outfit is being planned for a spooky Victorian tea in October.

I hope your sewing adventures in 2017 are fun and fabulous!