The Realm of Venus Presents...

he talian howcase




Costumed by: Bernadette de Foix; Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, USA
(Kingdom of Aethelmearc, Barony Marche Debatable Lands)

Costumer and SCA Member

A Florentine outfit in the Style of  the 1480s


 Bernadette Says...


I'm an SCA member that has been making creative costumes for over 10 years. The 16th century is my passion, but I was commissioned by the International Academy of Design and Technology to create costumes for their fashion school. This 15th century dress was the first piece I created for them. Lacey, my model, is a student in the fashion school. 

A Gowne of the Italian Renaissance

This garment is based upon examples of the latter half of Quatrocento, or 15th century. Examples can be found in the paintings of Domenico Ghirlandaio, example
"Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni", ca. 1488.

The garment consists of a fitted, lightly boned gamurra, under dress, with a giornea, tabard like overdress, along with a camicia, or chemise, fitted belt, jewelry, hat, and tie-on sleeves.

Women of Italy in the later part of the 15thc. often wore multiple layers of clothing. Extant examples have shown that each layer was beautifully finished and embellished. To recreate the look and feel of Italy, a garment was pieced together from the works of Domenico Ghirlandaio. The Giornea is a richly decorated pumpkin and bronze jacquard, belted with a silk ribbon and closed with a enamelled clasp. 

Underneath the Giornea, the gamurra or under gown was created from a bronze changeable silk taffeta. The gamurra is lightly boned in the front to provide a period correct shape. It is closed using brass lacing rings positioned in a spiral manner. The gamurra also has a pair of tie on sleeves that lace onto the gown at the shoulder. The back of the sleeves are laced on using a cast brass button as the catch for a black grosgrain ribbon, as black ties were the most often seen in renaissance portraits. 

  The cap was created from the same taffeta as the underdress. The ferriornere is a mixture of pearls, black onyx and gold vermiel. The necklace emulates pearls and coral beads as shown in portraits of the period.




 If you would like to contact Lacey or Bernadette you can do so via Bernadette at lilgreendragyn (at) 


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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.)