The Brazen Burgundian
Mary-Grace's 4th Coronation Gown
I love Love LOVE this dress, and I make no apologies for the theatric bits that I threw in. This is a coronation gown, and as such is intended to be a bit over the top. That being said, every aspect of the gown I can document as being done, just not on the same dress. However, we do know that Walter Fysche, Queen Elizabeth I's dress maker, was notorious for pulling ideas from different gowns and combining them into one gown. That is exactly what I did. The theatrical bit is the standing collar: it's very Hollywood, but not quite accurate. I have some things that are similar in portraits of the time (1580's) but not quite like this...but again, I make no apollogies. I meant for it to be like that.
A funny thing about this dress...I had a vision starting out of what I was shooting for, and it always included a serious padded roll (bum roll) - think transitional (late 1570's-early80's) right before the French Farthingale took hold.
So I created the dress with the padded roll to fulfill exactly what I was going for, and I didn't take anything else into consideration, like say....
THE SIZE OF THE GLEANN ABHANN THRONES!
It didn't even occur to me to scale Mary-Grace's butt to the thrones. So, one night we were sitting around while I was hand sewing her undersleeves, and MG casually observed that her bootie might be too big for the thrones...I think I must have had this stricken look on my face, because right then we went and found her Heir's throne and put it together to verify that her butt would fit in it. Sure enough...Baby got back! It was too wide for the arms of the throne.
So, what to do, what to do...what to do?
I was an artist with a vision, and I refused to reduce the size of the roll to make it fit. So the next option was alternative seating arrangements. Fortunately they have personal chairs (thrones, if you will...all the best Dukes and Duchesses have them ), so ultimately we used them for morning court and then I made sure the entourage switched them out for evening court...
of course this sparked questions from the populace as to why they were not being coronated with the kingdom thrones, and when they found out it was because I made her butt too big...well, you can imagine the jokes that commenced. Especially given that Mary-Grace is a rather petite woman :-) Overall it was great fun, and the dress turned out amazing.
I think the best compliment I ever received was in reference to this dress. A gentlamn said, "This is the first time since I joined the SCA 12 years ago, that I looked at someone and truly felt that I was looking at someone who existed in period. Not only did Her Majesty look like she stepped out of a painting, but she transported me some place other than where we were...thank you for that!"