Saturday, November 6, 2010

Some Like It Ruff: Part II


Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth in Elizabeth: The Golden Age

I like ruffs.

While preparing to shoot a Gothic editorial, I thought it would be interesting to make a ruff—a dramatic one, like Elizabeth!—but then decided to take the art direction in a more Victorian bent. Both are well-suited to the Gothic aesthetic, but decisions have to be made to keep things tight.

At some point, though, I'd like to revisit ruffs, and possibly use them in a shoot. It's amazing how much information is out there once you have an idea of what to look for. Ruff Sex, from Coilhouse Magazine, on ruffs in fashion and film, was a great primer for an arty dilettante like me. (Scroll to the bottom for links on how to make your own ruff!)

For the more involved, the lovely lady below, a brain-injury researcher by day, makes costumes (including Elizabethan ruffs) and documents them and her related research on Extreme Costuming. She made this Elizabethan embroidered jacket entirely by hand, including the orange embroidery! Each dot in each and every pea pod is a tiny stitch. (Love the set-in sleeves.)


"For the modern re-creator, the cost was not materials, but time. The jacket cost less than $100 total in materials, but took 1,947 hours over a year and four months to complete. I really did spend all my spare time on this, almost to distraction..."
And then there's this jacket, which took over 4000 hours and 250 people to make.



Click here for a story about it in the Boston Globe. If you have even more time, click here to read "The Embroiderer's Story", a day by day chronicle of its construction on on Plimoth Plantation (the non-profit museum that commissioned the jacket).

My research into Elizabethan costuming has birthed a yearn for a joust. Yes, a Renaissance Fair is now on the bucket list. All the feasting, and no small pox!


Ahh, history as it was supposed to be.

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