The Realm of Venus Presents the....

talian howcase


Alaina Blackram

SCA Participant
A Gown in the style of Bologna, c1580

Alaina Says...

This dress was inspired by the portrait done by Lavinia Fontana of a Noble Lady. A good source of work done by Lavinia can be found at: Lavinia Fontana: A Painter and Her Patrons in Sixteenth-Century Bologna by Caroline Murphy This book is an excellent resource. I found the book on my trip to the Ufizzi, and then found it a few months later on

This entire outfit (skin out) is sewn by hand and seems after taking the photos to need a bit of tweaking. Hopefully you will forgive me as I also had not ironed it before the photos were taken. I will hopefully have a pair of chopines to wear after Christmas ;) (hubby just got power to his shop and now has to get his tools back in shape after our move to our farm in April.)

The overdress is made of heavy tapestry fabric found on a scouting mission to a fabric store in Detroit. It is lined with the finest weave dupioni (silver shot gold) I have seen in a long time.

The under skirt is patterned fabric, some silk content found on Its sheen matched the silk taffeta doublet fabric which has hand stitched gold coloured trim from Cheeptrims. Sure, it's not real gold, I'm not made of money.

The brooch is a reproduction done by Acoutrements, the carcanet is done by Jewels by VonRosselar. People ask if it is heavy, and frankly from all the garb I have done, this is the only one that I can say YES to.

Funny thing was, when I started thinking about doublets, I looked at the coat I had bought in Italy and it had the same collar. Go figure. SO I had my friend Avelina help me with a duct tape doublet pattern and pouff, there it was. :)

Thanks Bella for kicking me in the rear to get this started and done!

Bella Says.....

Alaina has done it again. She has created another droolworthy Italian outfit - and what attention to detail! And all hand-sewn too! My fingers and hands ache at the mere thought! I also admire her colour sense - soft green, gold and purple all works so well together. the touch of red on the brooch is a knock-out. I just love it! What a gorgeous way to end the year! You are all going to have a really difficult time choosing the winners for the Showcase of the Year awards, aren't you? I'm kinda glad I don't have to vote. You can contact Aliana at ablackram (at) yahoo (dot) com

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(Copyright Information: As author I, Anabella Wake, known in the SCA as Bella Lucia da Verona, hold copyright on all information on these pages. In addition I hold copyright on all images of clothing/costume that I have made. You are allowed to make one facsimile copy for your own use provided that this notice is included on each page. Please ask permission to copy, disseminate and/or distribute my work - I would like to know when and how you are finding this information of use.)