previous Petrus Christus

June asked if the new project was based on the goldsmith and his patron by petrus christus, this one…

and the answer is no, because I’ve already done that one, but many years before I started this blog.

Ok, so the silk brocade is a different colour, but its the same dress. The lady who sold me the silk was actaully pretty delighted to see the finished dress, she said I was the only one with the guts to make a whole dress from it – everyone else used small pieces. After six years of regular wear this is still one of my favourite frocks, as despite being trimmed with fur and lined in lieghtwieght wool, its comfortable and not too warm to wear on a hot day. Mind you, after six years I still haven’t managed to put a buckle on the black brocaded tablet woven belt I made to go with this, and I’m still wearing the gold brocaded one you see in the pic, which doesn’t quite go. Then again, that belt took 80 hours to weave, so I might as well get some use from it.

The main reason I’m so obsessed with christus though, is the hats.

 I love it because it stays on, doesn’t move at all. Even Gareth, who doesn’t get costume at all, thinks it suits me.

The horns are made around two shaped peices of very heavy leather, the stuff JOhn uses for the soles of authentic shoes, which was pulled into shape with an internal rigging of linen thread. Thats then covered with a layer of wool fleece to round out the shape, and tightly overlaid with a chevron woven silk, and embroidered with a grid of gold thread and real pearls. Each horn took about four days solid work.

The horns are joined by a soft skullcap of the same silk. This is flexible enough to allow the sheer wieght of the horns to hold it down, and then two large pins go through the viel, through the cap, and through my hair, thus allowing virtually no movement of either hat or viel. I prance about in it, wear it on a breezy day, it doesn’t move. It does make me about a foot taller though, a fact which I tend to forget and consequently and end up tangled in tent rigging.

The Christus I’m currently obsessed with is this one

which is less well known. It’s that bubble-topped hennin that drew me in. Rachel, who is making the form for it, says it will make me look like an alien, but I don’t care.

~ by opusanglicanum on August 12, 2012.

20 Responses to “previous Petrus Christus”

  1. It’s a beautiful hat and dress. Worn, I assume, with a smock underneath? Is thta the white showing through?

    • that is the white. I decided not to go with an underkirtle or stomacher for this one as in the painting you can definately see a crumpled bit of undershift. obviously the woman in the painting was a sexy little minx!

  2. “Four days solid work”? Per horn? That is amazing. Making a costume like this is on my bucket list. And I agree with the lady who sold you the silk brocade: it’s stunning as a gown.

    • mainly the work was due to it being rahter fiddly. Initially I had john drill the leather in a grid, thinking I would sew the pearls adn gold through those holes, but that proved problematic on many levels, so instead I ended up sewing through only the top layer, which was quite fiddly

      I love that gown, but some people find it a little loud. It did look fantastic in the twilight at Harewood the other week though, which was interesting as I’m normally wearing it in bright sun.

  3. I’ve always wondered about the construction of those horned head-dresses – thanks for the description!

    • the thing is, all reconstructions are theoretical because there aren’t any survivors, so I suppose its as much experimental archaeology as it is needlework. That was one of the reasons I went with the leather foundation, as I was keen to use materials readily available at the time

  4. I love the red velvet dress, but I’m not sure about the bubble top. I’ll have to see it finished before I pass judgement. The dress above is great and I’m sure if they had that fabric, they would have worn it. The gold and black is pretty loud if you ask me. (I know that no-one did.)

    • they liked loud, they really didn’t go for minimalism like we do – i think that was for poor people.

      my dress was a bit of a compromise, as I’ve always felt the one in the painting was most likely a voided velvet rather than a brocade, however the only place I’ve seen medieval style voided velvets for sale was one of those places that never puts the price on anything, and although I spend stupid amounts of money on fabrics even I’m not inclined to sell my house to finance a frock

  5. Yay! Another curtainy frock ;D

  6. That is a glorious dress, and the hat is beautiful with the horns and veils! Pretty imposing with an additional foot of height–another way in which subtle was for poor people, I suppose.

  7. Is there any theory as to why horns like this became popular even in elite culture? I think the headdress is fabulous, by the way.

    • no idea why, but I’d hazard a guess that like a lot of medieval fashion it may have had something to do with the fact its ostentatiously impossible to work in

  8. Ooh, I love that fabric! Not too loud for me. :=)

    Those headdresses look difficult, and I can easily believe you spent four days on each horn. I wonder why they started wearing horns; it’s not like you wake up one day thinking that your head needs to be pointy.

    • but some people do – there was that tribe, south american I think, who used to bind the heads of thier infants to make them pointy.

      perhaps you haven’t yet realised you’re own inner desire for pointiness?

  9. We need to see you wear this, headress and all. I always wanted to wear on of these with the proper headgear. Its a goal eventually.

  10. Wow that’s a fabulous fabric! And I’ve always loved big headdresses, that one is gorgeous!

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