A Diary of a Dress Inspired by a Portrait of Laudomia de' Medici


Of course, I had to fall in love with a dress that's almost impossible to find. It's a portrait of Laudomia de' Medici, made by A. Bronzino, between 1560 and 1565. This image on the right is the only color one I've ever seen. I'll have to go to the library again, another library, to try and find her. She's supposed to exist in black and white in a book about the history of the Medici family. I haven't found her yet. So I alternate between this image, the small black and white one in 20,000 Years of Fashion (François Boucher) and the one I found in a book about Florence (see Research page).

I've found a dress diary that uses it as a reference http://costume.kithary.net/1570italian.html. I've also found the sleeves reproduced here http://lynnmcmasters.com/ladyselizcourtsleeve.html. And also, a reproduction here http://www.ladamedatours.com/histo_re_1.html.

By the way, the painting is in the Pitti Palace in Italy. But I've heard it's very high up on a wall and in a dark corner. Making it to the museum might not even give us a better view of her.

I"ll be using Margo's patterns (http://www.margospatterns.com) to build the dress. I'll have to modify some things, like the ruffle on the smock and the sleeves.

Her dress looks like it might be made of velvet. Mine will be made of 10mm Habotai silk. It will be in a russet, rust or even brownish color. I'll dye it myself and I prefer not to insist on a particular shade in case it doesn't turn out exactly as I intended :-)

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