Pastes and Powderings: A Gentlewoman's Wardrobe 1485-1520

“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.
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