Even Attack Laurels have a secret and shameful past...
...Especially Attack Laurels. Heh.
A photo of a photo - an old photo, at that. This was what I wore to Galmr and Katherina's first coronation, so it was a while back. You can't see much detail, but this was when I was going through my "must wear a tartan scarf with everything because my persona's Scottish or something" phase.
You can't see it, but I'm wearing an American Civil War-era corset underneath. I thought I looked soooooo period.
This is the first doublet I made for my husband, back before we were married, before we were together, and most importantly, before I knew anything substantially correct about Elizabethan clothing.
The most obvious mistake is that I made the buttonholes vertical - they pull unmercifully. The neck doesn't fit right. The trim is... icky. The sleeves are... interesting, and more Victorian than 16th century.
Of course, sweet man that he is, my husband says he loves it.
When reasonably good costume goes bad...
August 1999 - hence the slightly flushed cheeks. I hate the way this looks - there aren't enough petticoats, I should be wearing a partlet, and I definitely should be wearing a pair of bodies.
Let us not even mention the hat. Noblewomen did not wear straw hats.
Other than that, it's not a bad outfit - I think I would have done more with the trim (and I still may - if Elizabeth could have her dresses made over, so can I), but it's a lovely silk/linen blend, and also has a matching doublet (that can be seen in the picture of me in my green coat). This is the sort of thing that happens when you go three-quarters of the way to a great ensemble, but don't quite make it. If you click on the picture, you'll see a much better put together version of this outfit.
...Oh, and if you think I look like I've been crying - that's because I had been. This was taken just after my husband got his Pelican. :)
This, on the other hand, is the most embarrassing picture of me in existence - unless anyone has pictures of my earliest outfits that have, hopefully, been lost to the mists of time. This was the first outfit I made for the SCA (in 1989 - I joined in 1988) as opposed to the "Middle-Evil" costumes I made for the Sci-Fi conventions I attended throughout my teenage years (which is what I wore the first year, except when a friend took pity on me and let me wear one of her dresses). It's - well, it's just sad, this thing.
The sleeves were made from curtain fabric given to me by my stepmother, the bodice and the overskirt (it came out as more of a train, and it hung in the back, that's why you can't see it) were made of purple corduroy, and the underskirt (all attached) is pink acetate nylon. Hey, at least pink is period, right?
The ruffs - oh, God, the ruffs - they're nylon lace, there's no shift underneath, so the neck ruff is just sitting on my neck, and the wrist ruffs are attached to the sleeves.
You know what? I felt damned pretty in that dress.
More fun with scrounged fabrics! This is me in 1993 or so, and my first attempts at "real" Elizabethan (the whole incident with the corduroy doublet and the ruff three times the size of my head hopefully was never actually photographed). I'm honestly not making that face because I was embarrassed to be seen wearing that thing, I'm making that face because I always make that face if someone's taking a photo of me.
That, and the fact that I was sixty pounds heavier back then, and a bit self-conscious about my weight.
But the outfit - well, I tried, I really did, but I didn't have the "eye" for the right fabrics back then, nor the knowledge of how to make the artificial fabrics bend to my will. The bodice is grey wool, with sleeves and underskirt of a sort of purplish brocade I got cheap (really cheap), and the overskirt is a hideous plastic velvet. I couldn't afford enough trim, so only the front opening of the skirt is trimmed, and I'm wearing a belt from Tandy Leather.
You know, except for the fact that all the details are wrong, I don't think I looked too bad, back then. This was before the Elizabethan renascence (yes, I spelled that correctly) in the Kingdom, and no-one was really out there showing people like me what the real thing looked like, so I (and others like me) had to feel our way forward bit by bit.
When you take it in that context, it's only a little bit embarrassing that this picture exists, eh?
That's what I tell myself, anyway.
Oh, *blush*. I had this on the "other eras" page, but it made me cringe every time I went by it, so I've finally moved it to its rightful place amongst the shameful episodes of my costuming career.
This is... well, it's supposed to be a sideless surcoat, but you'll notice it's made of linen (hey, at least it's linen) in a 16th century pattern, has fake fur trim, and I don't know if you can see it, but the chest panel in front has a line of gold trim down the middle. Argh. Why, oh, why did I think this was a good outfit?
Mind you, the velvet cotehardie you can't see underneath is faboo, and I still wear it lots, apart from the year or so I expanded a bit and couldn't fit my fat ass into it (no longer a problem). I love the cote - it's the surcote that makes me blush horribly. I even trimmed the panels of the skirt.
Oh, and the hat - the hat is a square piece of fabric pulled taut and pinned over a bent coathanger. Aren't you proud of me? The headaches I got from that thing - you have no idea.
The coup de grace? It never fit properly. Ever.
Me, circa 1992. You all should consider me very, very brave for putting this photo up - I look hideous.
As does the outfit. That's supposed to be a houppellande. Yes, it's made of blue corduroy. Yes, it has epaulets. Yes, those epaulets have rhinestones on them.
The funky looking white bits are actually the sleeves, which I made open and floor-length, tucked into the belt. I have an underdress on, but it doesn't really support my boobs (I weigh about 190# in this picture), and I'm slumping the unconscious slump of someone who deep in their soul knows that they're going to be putting this photo up on a web page someday as an example of what not to do.
It's a very complicated slump.
It's emphasized by the hat. The subconsciously off-center and pushed back hat of defeat.
And the shiny skin, but that's period.
Text and images copyright L. Mellin, 2000-2008, except where noted. All rights reserved.