“Sipres”, “fox poots” and “taberd sleeves” were a few of the challenging clues confronting The Tudor Tailor team in their detective work on the likely wardrobe of a gentlewoman at the court of the young Henry VIII. Detailed scrutiny of more than 200 sixteenth century documents produced several such conundrums. Fortunately, paintings provide solutions to some of the puzzles presented by the documents and details from contemporary accounts often fill gaps left by portraiture. The latest result of all this careful cross-referencing is The Queen’s Servants, a book illustrating fashion at the turn of the 15th to the 16th century. The frustrations of deciphering dog Latin in ancient handwriting and photographing effigies in dark corners of remote churches are illustrated with a dressing demonstration showing the layers required to create the fashionable silhouette for Dorathie Lenthorpe, a gentlewoman dressed at the king’s expense in 1514.
There has been a great deal of number crunching at The Tudor Tailor since the Christmas break. Fabrics for 2015 costume projects can now be purchased with renewed confidence and less expense – especially if you are a man needing new hose. Not only is the colour range endorsed by new research but there is 10 per cent off all woollen fabric purchases until the end of January.
Seasons greetings to all our colleagues and customers! Thanks to everyone who has collaborated with us, supported our research, come to one of our events or bought from us this year. We wish you every success with your costume projects in 2015.
A successful foray into television has prompted an update to one of The Tudor Tailor’s best-loved patterns. Eager headdress researchers are already excited to see the information in a practical format. Ninya’s recent work with the BBC was an opportunity to put theory to the test and it passed with flying colours. The “gable hood” is now a “Tudor lady’s bonnet, frontlet, paste and edge” reflecting research published in The Queen’s Servants in 2011.