June 6, 2020

‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day ...’ Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5

A gown of the style seen in the 'Field of the cloth of gold' painting from 'The Typical Tudor'

Typical Tudors had a great deal to celebrate in June. Jane and Ninya invite you to join them in a full day’s Midsummer Madness to remember all the good things that made it worth tapping a barrel during Henry VIII’s reign.

From 1 June when Anne Boleyn was crowned (1533) to Henry’s own birthday on 28 June (1491), there were plenty of reasons to party at midsummer: Henry and Catherine of Aragon’s wedding (11 June 1509) and, in the same year, their coronation (24 June). Most importantly, from the 7 to 24 June 1520, there was a crowd of merrymakers having a good time at the Field of Cloth of Gold in France.

So - that’s a month’s worth of fun to be had in one day! To celebrate, The Tudor Tailor has decided to hold its own one-day virtual version of the Field of the Cloth of Gold (FOCOG)If you and your loved ones would like to participate, work up outfits inspired by the famous painting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold which hangs at Hampton Court Palace. There is no need to make brand new clothes – cobble something together from what there is in the closet (see above for a FOCOG gown in The Typical Tudor's wardrobe)Accessorise with household items, craft supplies or anything else which comes to hand – creativity and crossdressing is positively encouraged!

Post your photos on Instagram or Twitter (@TheTudorTailor) and use the hashtag #focogchallenge between worldwide midnight Saturday 20 June and midnight Sunday 21 June. Pop by to see who else is attending throughout the day. There will be golden prizes for the most inventive and imaginative interpretations of details from the painting. Team efforts (with appropriate social distancing) will be applauded and rewarded.

The gold treasures up for grabs are (see gallery photos below):

Top prize: A coat cloth of tawny wool (3 yards) – value £84

2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes: A dozen 24 carat gold-plated Dudley buttons– value @ £72

5th prize: Tawny silk damask remnant (enough for a pair of bodies or foresleeves) with sand gold silk thread – value £60

6th, 7th & 8th prizes: A length of gold Pointed Scallop lace (3 yards) – value @ £21

9th & 10th prizes: A length of gold Small Pointed Scallop lace (3 yards) – value @ £16.50

Other prizes: A 24 carat gold-plated 1⅝in/40mm tall Tudor Tailor figure (10) – this is an exclusive item not available to purchase with a price beyond measure!

There is an in-house birthday to cheer too: in June 2009, the first edition of The King’s Servants was published. The new, improved second edition will be available to purchase in July for £15 and the combined book offer to buy it with The Queen’s Servants (second edition) for £25 (a saving of £7) will also be open again. The new edition features a glossary of garments and there is an additional reconstruction of a jacket, which shows another way of creating a typical garment from the early Tudor period. Several of the patterns are suitable for Field of the Cloth of Gold era clothing.

The other news is that The Tudor Tailor’s Missing Persons conference will be missing for a little bit longer. This probably does not come as a surprise in the current uncertain climate. Half the ticket holders are coming from overseas. There is no guarantee of easy travelling arrangements or clarity about future quarantine regulations and social distancing requirements. Jane and Ninya feel the most responsible action is to postpone the event again. All the lovely speakers and historical venues which promise to be such exciting elements of the conference have agreed to Friday 19 to Monday 22 February 2021 as the new dates. Let’s look forward to seeing each other in Nottingham when celebrations will be more appropriate and comfortable.

Meanwhile, work on The Typical Tudor is still underway. There have been a number of unexpected challenges to overcome – some due to the effects of the worldwide pandemic and others closer to home. The plan was for it to be complete by now but regrettably it isn’t ready to print yet. Jane and Ninya (together with the hardworking team of Dylan The Layout and Keen-Eyed Kendra, the copy editor) have agreed a new schedule which will deliver the book to everyone who preordered it in September. It is disappointing that it needs more energy and effort to ensure it arrives at the printers complete and coherent ready for publication but the current mantra at Tudor Tailor Towers is “better late than never” with emphasis on the BETTER!

Jane and Ninya would like to thank you all for your patience and continued support at this extraordinary time.

Stay safe and sane!