April 16, 2019

Fan girl to cover girl

Jane and Harlie at The Typical Tudor photo shoot

The Tudor Tailor had the pleasure of hosting one of our first US hosts recently when Harlie Des Roches joined the team to test patterns and model her creations for the new book.

People who reconstruct and wear historic dress come in all shapes and sizes and from all creeds and colours. Our readers certainly do not conform to a stereotype. The Tudor Tailor is a staunch supporter of Harlie’s initiative, Reenactors of Colour, a Facebook group which aims at better representation of all people in the past and the present.

The Tudor Tailor invited Harlie (aka Harls Barkley) to be the first to use a pattern for a woman’s coat and model it in The Typical Tudor. Harlie accepted the challenge and visited the UK and Denmark in March to collaborate with the team. She also altered a kirtle in red wool to wear under the coat using The Tudor Tailor’s “no boning” principle and was very pleased with the results.

Harlie kept an online vlog of her preparation for her European tour to report her work on the garments. Watch her progress in detail on her own page or check The Tudor Tailor’s Facebook page for snippets of the story.

The Centre for Textile Research at the University of Copenhagen hosted a presentation about The Tudor Tailor’s work and Harlie’s Reenactors of Colour campaign which was very well received. The kirtle and coat Harlie made for her appearance in The Typical Tudor was much admired.

By coincidence, during the week before Harlie’s visit The Mary Rose Museum announced results of skeletal isotope analysis which shows that several people on board the ship (and not just the mariners) were of African origin. Harlie was able to visit the new exhibition in Portsmouth which gives details of the discoveries and demonstrates the need for some assumptions about diversity in Europe to be revisited.