Greetings all,

It is my honour and pleasure to announce the recipients of the Italian Showcase Rose Awards for 2008. I am happy to say that this year saw the recurrence of  two things which happened for the first time last year - men's and children's entries! This is a very good thing to see indeed, and one that I hope continues in future. 

As those of you who voted will know, I decided against changing the voting criteria, so once again voting was for the best three historical outfits in the two categories of pre- and post- 1550. In addition, voters this year were not required to choose the encouragement award - this year this was chosen by me, because I wanted to join in the fun - buy boy was it hard to choose!

I am pleased to announced that thanks to the generosity of those who have contributed by donating to the Realm, or by buying at Amazon via my website, I have raised enough money to be able to do something I have wanted to do for a long time - prizes! This year's winners will each receive a prize, as well as a certificate. Huzzah!

I would once again like to thank each and every one of you who voted in the Rose Awards, especially so if you were able to leave comments - you have helped to encourage and congratulate those who make an outstanding contribution to late Italian Renaissance costuming, and in doing so inspire us all. A big thank you also to all of you who included kind words and compliments for myself and this website in your e-mails - it is my pleasure!

And to the winners I would like to say congratulations, and many thanks for sharing your work with us. I look forward to seeing more of your lovely creations from you in the future. 

Grazie mille!



PS...make sure you have a beverage of choice to hand and your scroll finger ready!

The Secondary Awards

The Encouragement Award:

"Excellent research, wonderful layers, amazing attention to detail with style lines and accessories, and excellent quality materials make this piece above and beyond any normal expectation. The matching of the patterns, interlinings, and the good execution of using fussy velvet among many other details show it was made with professional quality craftsmanship."

"Chris did a great job on this dress. I really like that she made a dress that is uncommon."

"A not so usual style to recreate in Italian renaissance, but I love it. Also it’s nice to see a dress from a different region than Florence and Venice."

"Very opulent outfit. You wonderfully managed to toe the line between beautiful and overdone to great effect."

"Love the overall look of this outfit. Very period and quite striking."

"Well done with a little-done period, beautiful ruff!"

"A perfect rendition of an unusual (today) style."

"Well done, I like it that she considers her own coloring to match her choice."

"I love the over all look of this outfit.  It's very put-together..."

"I just love the opulence of this ensemble!"

"New and different style, and good construction."

"Love the head to toe styling."

"So rich and lovely details."

"Great design & construction..."

"...Chris seemed to have a little more extras."

Runner-Up, Pre-1550 Category:

"I love the colors of your fabric. There's just something about the way wool takes dye that you can't get with other fibers. Excellent documentation! Thanks for including all the inspiration paintings with your notes. I also love Jen Thompson's dress diary, and your notes make an excellent companion to hers; I really feel that between the two of you, anyone with needle and thread should be able to make this dress! I also really like that you considered all the parts of the outfit, researching not just the gown itself but also the hair, the shoes, etc."

"This garb isn't only well-made, but also well-researched, using period documentation for all details. It fits her like a glove, and the colour composition looks period. The outfit rely on a good cut and small details, and that's much harder than it looks/sounds..."

"This is a dress that is deceptively simple in appearance, but it's another one that comes out as an authentic garment because of all the "behind the scenes" tailoring.  I am also a huge fan of Jen Thompson's page and I thought Sunny did a great job adapting the research and techniques at Festive Attyre to the style of dress.  Great color scheme, too!  Very flattering and molto italiana!" 

"...I fell for the warm colours of her outfit. I also love the smooth simplicity of the styles from the early 1500's."

"I particularly like her treatment of the skirt - it looks good while dancing, which is very much in keeping with the style.  Her camicia pulls out just right at the neck and sleeves.  I was impressed with her sleeve experiments and the hemp "boning" in the bodice.  I'm doing a sort of copy of this dress for an upcoming SCA event and am in the middle of doing the cording in my own bodice, but with a different method."

"A style that looks so simple, but that has been recreated wit all details. It’s always nice to see “everyday dress” and not only court garb."

"I am impressed with Sunny’s research. She really put a lot of thought into every aspect of this dress."

"I love how smoothly the bodice sits... what a great example of the use of hemp cord."

"Inspirational; I am fond of those folks who can achieve such goals."

"Good fit and really looks like genuine clothing from the period."

"I love it. Did anyone honestly notice the earrings with that sash?"

"A wonderful example of how simplicity can be so elegant."

"This is a beautiful dress, well made and well researched."

"Very well done, it looks right!"

"Great color choices and fit"

"The gown is lovely and beautifully made."

"Simple, gorgeous fit. Very pretty."

"Very pretty sash"

Runner-Up, Post-1550 Category:

"Good attention to the many layers involved. Interesting and different yet still period color choice. I love the drawers and the socks... it fits quite well, especially through the lower back... Overall, this is the kind of outfit you want wear to sweep into a room and have everyone's eyes on you. Nice."

"Good research and interesting compilation of several different styles make this piece very visually interesting. Good attention to detail with the choice of textile, style lines, and accessories."

"Flawless fit, stunning color combination. This may be Alaina's best Showcase entry yet." 

"I have loved this dress since I first saw it on Realm of Venus. I love combination of the pink and black together."

"I loved the details of this ensemble including the embroidered under pants"

"I really like this costume!"

"Unique style and fabulous colors"

"Pink! Yay! Love the color combination!"

"I do like the fit and the photos"

"Great job as always" 

"Great outfit!"

"Nice kit"

Congratulations Chris, Sunny, and Lisa!

The Primary Awards

The Pre-1550 Category

In third place, the Copper Rose goes to...

Congratulations Diana!

"An absolutely yummy fabric and the seamstress has done it justice. As in her inspirational portrait, the garment is carefully cut to show off the brocade pattern. It's nicely fitted and the cutouts and puffs on the sleeves are very well done. The workmanship appears to be top-rate... a really breathtaking ensemble. I wish I had a chance to come pet that fabric!" 
"... Diana's is equally beautiful and detailed (oh, that topstitching! and those sleeve slashes!) ... this is a glamorous, beautiful piece of art and Diana obviously put a lot of hard work and research into it."

"That fabric... Wow! A meticulously made gown, beautiful and graceful."

"This was hard to decide..In the end I felt that Diana's work was closer to the 'look' and construction."

"Love the colors... Well fitted and suits the model."

"This dress is so lovely that I just want to see more. Most of all I love the fit of the bodice."

"Beautiful fabric, the choice makes it outstanding."

"Diana looks stunning in this gown. I especially like the partlet."

"Well fit, attention to detail of subject matter emulated."

"I love the design and the partlet."

"Excellent construction and execution."

"A very nice recreation of the portrait."

"An amazing silk brocade!"

"Nice fit and colour!"

"Sleeves are amazing."

In second place, the Silver Rose goes to...

Congratulations Kerri!

"Everything about this dress is awe inspiring!  The fabric was well-selected to match the portrait.  The tailoring is exact and the silhouette is perfect!  I especially love the attention to details, such as the self-fabric trim and the use of patterning to get the sleeve-with-puffs effect.  This is a dress that first of all works as a dress -- not a "costume!"  I am in awe of how elaborate, yet simple, everything is and I keep flipping back to your page while I work on my own sewing projects.  Not only is this my favorite pre-1550 gown, it is my favorite of all the gowns!"

"Just because the fit is so good, and the dress not only endure, but also demands, closer inspection... I love the twisted trims and the pleated skirt, and the front bodice is almost like seeing Bronzino's portrait of a lady with a fair-haired boy (NGA, Washington). The pattern and colour of the fabric comes off as very period, and the accessories (partlet, girdle etc) finish off a quite exquisite outfit. I would love to see more from this seamstress." 

"First of all I love the dress she has chosen to recreate and I love the fit of this dress... I prefer the fabric in this one. It makes the dress pop for me... This dress has it all, cut to perfection. It fits in all the right places and I just love it."

"A subtle masterpiece whose virtues are easy to miss--until one notices that she sought, and found, a brocade that *perfectly* matches the inspiration portrait, an elegant silk organza for the partlet, etc. Few costumers have both the skill and the persistence to get all the details so perfect."

"I love how carefully and meticulously she followed the inspiration portrait to achieve the sleeve slashes, the twisted trim, and the jewelry/accessories.  Perhaps it's all of the attention to detail, or how Caterucia holds herself, but even with all of these very fancy elements to the dress, she wears it like clothing and not like a costume.  Brava!"

"I've seen her work in person and was awe struck.  This dress looks the most authentic of any of the entries.  The workmanship is stunning - the bias tape made from the fabric and rolled & whip-stitched to the neck and the sleeve openings is amazing."

"...very closely resembling a painting.  The partlet is what caught my attention first and is stunning.  The fabric selection also impressed me, it has wonderful period look to the silk and just lays beautifully."

"Absolutely gorgeous - she looks like she stepped out of a painting.  The fit is wonderful, and the partlet is absolutely perfect."

"This is the year's best gown, hands down! Simple, yet beautifully detailed and an excellent fit. True craftsmanship! (That the gown is green is of course an added bonus!)."

"I have always loved this gown and her finished product is so so finished! I felt all three of my selections looked really good.  Also I find the fitted style poses more challenge than a more loosely fitted gown so that influenced me too."

"A really, really lovely outfit. Beautifully detailed work on the sleeve cutouts and picadils, the box pleats of the skirt are crisp and even, and the jewelry choices set it off wonderfully... Overall, it's a very spectacular outfit, very well done."

"...Overall the attention to detail in this piece is why I thought it should get first place. The pattern placement, attention to grain-line, color, visual weight, style lines, and exquisite trim make this dress an amazing piece."

"It's Caterucia's impeccable (nearly inhumanly perfect!) tailoring that decided it for me, once again."

"This is the best recreation of the anonymous Lady in Green that I've seen so far, right down to the trim."

"Well fitted and seemingly well made. Wonderful attention to detail and manufacture of the gown, simple details like the neckline edging."

"I guess green is in vogue this year... Cause my third pre 1550 choice is also green! So period looking and elegant. Nice details and good portrait match."


"This dress is so beautiful, very well fitted and extremely elegant!"

"All of the detail work on this gown was impressive!"

"I love the pierced sleeves, color choice, great, pleating on skirt is wonderful.  Well done, my dear."

"Just a lovely job (can't decide between 1st and 2nd they are both really nicely done)."

"Beautiful fit on the bodice and sleeves; trim details are very impressive; partlet is particularly well done"

"This dress really wow's in it's seeming simplicity..."

"Fabulous fit, authentic looking."

"So close between first and second. Love the partlet."

"This is my dream project and she has done it perfectly!"

"Fabulous and elegant... Always my favorite combination."

"Excellent workmanship, great attention to detail."

"Really loved the snipped trim and the belt."

"Love the box pleating!"

"The trim is amazing"

"This is just beautiful!"

"Beautiful fit."

"Wonderfully done."

"Overall cohesiveness of details."


"Great trim ideas..."

And in first place, the Gold Rose goes to...

Congratulations Anéa!

"Exquisite. Line, color, fit, everything is just spot-on. She's beautifully captured the elegant simplicity of line characteristic of the era. The fabric choice has the correct weight and drape to create the proper flow. This era's style's are also quite deceptive in their difficulty. The plain, nearly unadorned garments demand a perfect fit to work properly and she's achieved it. I especially like the wide neckline with the shoulder straps sitting on the point of the shoulder. So few seamstresses bother to get this right. The colors are rich and very much reflective of her inspirational portrait. Deserves the accolade 'You look as if you just stepped out of that portrait!.' Brava."  

"Granted this is a portrait gown so she is working from a pre-existing concept, but of all the dresses in this category I just thought this one looked the most 'real'.  The execution was lovely.  The fit was wonderful and her attention to detail when recreating the accessories put this one just a cut above the rest for me.  She looks like she stepped out of the painting."

"The contrast between the green silk bodice and skirt and the deep red velvet of the sleeves is stunning, and the green skillfully evokes the inspiration portrait. The only out-of-place detail is the brown chosen for the underskirt, but I cannot think of a color that would have worked better."

"Her dress is flowing and rich looking and is a very good copy of the portrait she chose.  I was most impressed with the way she re-cut the neckline to widen and get the correct feel to this period.  And she looks lovely in it."

"The first thing that jumps out at me is how your fabric choices are so close the the portrait!  Good job! The dress diary is fun to read and the end result is a beautiful gown that you can really be proud of!"

"This dress is made out of good material, with great style lines, excellent accessories, and constructed with good research. The sleeves' pattern, the trim, and the style lines especially impress me. The only thing I would really like to see out of this would be a higher attention to layers and accessories, but I believe that will be added easily later."

"You did a wonderful job with the fitting. The bodice is so smooth, you did a wonderful job with the fitting.  I'm impressed with your pendant as well."

"Amazing; I knew exactly the portrait she was inspired by. Hit the nail on the head. Good job!"

"Another stunning piece - the fit is lovely, the fabrics are wonderful, and the necklace is the perfect touch."

"Anéa has done it again! Lovely colours, lovely fit, lovely materials. All in all a perfect gown! Kjempeflott!"

"Amazing attention to detail and accurate translation of a beautiful portrait. Fit of the gown is dead on."

"Such a beautiful reproduction from a favorite portrait. The color combination is stunning and the chosen fabrics are rich and luscious."

"As nearly perfect as can be. The only thing lacking is the unicorn!"

"Like seeing the portrait, amazing. Period fabrics, wonderful fit. My absolute favorite this year!"

"I really think that her attention to details makes her #1 - her choice of fabrics really bring the gown to life."

"Her eye for detail is excellent and the silhouette/form/fitting is very good."

"This dress is beautiful! I love that she looks just like the portrait!"

"So lush! So beautiful! And Anea's dresses always look so perfectly _wearable_ !"

"I really love the style of this dress and am working on one now myself."

"A spot-on reproduction of a portrait! Beautiful!"

"Oh my god beautiful, as always! Makes me jealous to make some of my own!"

"She did such a great job on the little details like the necklace."

"A wonderful recreation of a portrait. And the fitting is good."

"The colors and details are amazing.  Just like the painting."

"She did a great job showing each step."

"Great colors and fit."

"Lush colored sleeves."

"Truly captured the look of the original portrait."

"Really captures the spirit of the painting."

"Just a lovely job."


"Beautifully done, wonderful fit, and looks perfect."

"She looks just like the picture... so gorgeous!"

The Post-1550 Category

In third place, the Copper Rose goes to...

Congratulations Lorenzo!

 "Wonderful to see tailors entering men's suits in the Showcase. I like the color choice. It's very rich, in both senses of the word - that red dye would have cost a pretty penny in the 16th century. The black edging sets it off nicely and gives the whole ensemble a crisp, defined look. He appears comfortable and it seems as if he can move easily in the outfit. Overall it appears to fit well...It may not be quite proper for me to comment on a gentleman's codpiece but it looks to be cut well according to the ones seen in Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1560-1620. Bombasting on the slops seems to work well. At first glance they seem a bit flat but comparison with the inspirational portrait reveals that the diameters are really quite comparable. The wrapped buttons are a great detail, very authentic and wonderfully decorative..."

"How often do good men's outfit come along, let alone as cool as this one? The effect created with the red fabric with dark trim is excellent. Details like the shirt collar the shoes and the belt makes this a complete outfit. Only thing I would wish for is more pictures and a tad more info on how the outfit was made."

"Hoorah for more men's clothing! Ben has created a great outfit, with a good eye for colour, cut and materials. His write-up was very informative, and the photographs of the construction of the trunkhose are great. I hope that they'll inspire more people to do men's clothing." 

"A renaissance man in the mix... hurray... This costume is so well made I just want to go home and start sewing something similar for my husband. And to inspire others is a great thing."

"I know Lorenzo. He is *always* so well put together, and he has *the look* about him when you see him in garb.  He's just perfect."

"Third place was the tough one in this category. I went with Lorenzo because of the niceties of fit, and the period color scheme."

"Outstanding costume! I see Lorenzo around at local events and he is always in picture perfect costume!"

"Another one that seems simple, yet is elegant in it's fit, attention to detail.  It looks like clothing, not costume!"

"Beautifully tailored, wonderful to see men involved."

"I love a nicely fitted men's outfit! it's good to see tailoring applied so well!"

"A wonderfully tailored, handsome set of garments with great details."

"An absolutely stunning, well tailored suit.  Brilliant!"

"Great outfit. Your Attention to internal tailoring details is wonderful."

"It is great to see such a well done man's outfit!"

"A really nice job!  Well fit."

"It is great to see what the men can do; all said well done."

"Great tailoring, and a great tutorial to trunk hose!"

"Grand color, dashing outfit."

"Good tailoring and nice write-up."

"Both men made lovely doublets but Lorenzo's seems to have more detail... a codpiece..."

"Beautifully fitted..."

In second place, the Silver Rose goes to...

Congratulations Lindsey!

"Why this one came in first, and not the others... Please don't ask! The maker has managed to capture the madness and yet the simplicity of the late Venetian style. When other Italian ladies 'covered up', Venetians showed more. And this is reflected in the dress in a very good way. I love the details here - the trims, the partlet and 'fluff', the hair - and last, but not least, the silhouette, with a long skirt and a 'pointed' belly. Lovely fabric as well."

"The thing that made this dress stand out to me above all the other dresses was the ruff and the detail at the shoulder.  It really looked like the portraits of the period and the time and labor for this rather small detail deserves at least some recognition.  I thought the simple cording also was enough to give it some sparkle but keep it simple and not detract from the pattern.  Those little things and taking the time to do her hair and such just made this dress just a little more special in my book." 

"This dress is a very nice execution of a popular style. I very much like that she attempted and achieved the correct visual weight of the ruffles at the shoulder seams and at the collar, though a collar that stood would have been cool to see too. The bodice looks very nice, and the shortening of it, though visually slightly disappointing, has some great practical reasoning behind it. In general it is very well made."

"That ruff made out of ribbons and gold beads is pure, unadulterated genius!!  I would never have thought to use materials like that to achieve the look of the ruff in the inspiration portrait.  She also got the curve of the deep-v bodice exactly right, where the pelvis juts out further than the chest.  That's an imposing stance from a powerful woman!"

"A true costumer! Wonderful job at adapting modern materials to make everything come together (speaking of the ruffles, of course)."

"A pretty gown with a unique shoulder puff. It's lovely and dainty and even has that great slope from waist to lower belly that's so prevalent in the portraits."

"The ruff is magnificent.  And her choice of fabric is very good.  It makes a real authentic looking dress, with a bit of creative license that fits the style."

"What I really like about this gown is the unusual take on the partlet and the shoulder ruffs. The gown stands out, but it still doesn't get fussy."

"Awesome color, and this is the first person I've seen who recreated the pointy shoulder-bits." 

"I hope you have plans to do the standing ruff as well, because this is a gorgeous gown. Your shoulder "ruff" is inspired."

"This dress has a good fit, and a sweetness to it that is rather whimsical."

"One of the prettiest Venetian dresses I have seen. The details rock here. Wow."

"I really loved how she made this dress look so much like the paintings."

"I just plain old love, love, love it. Details, fabric, manufacture and fit."

"The ruffs are a beautiful and unique touch - well done!"

"Her ruffs were very creative."

"Innovative partlet ruffs."

"Love the ruffs."

"Fab sleeves."

"Very nice, the neckline is beautiful..."

And finally, in first place, the Gold  Rose goes to...

Congratulations Fiore!

"This dress brings together the best elements of Venetian courtesan dress.  The front-lacing over the pleated corset cover, many different kinds of beautiful lace and netting, the little rosettes, the garnets and pearls, and the chopines!  Holy cow, she's walking around in 7 inch chopines!  It all comes together so elegantly in this ensemble, all the details just add up and work together to make the whole, and the whole is not overwhelming or jarring, just beautiful!"

"The silhouette is exactly right!  I like your use of a corset cover and after seeing what you've made, I think I would use a corset cover if I were to make a dress like this. You attention to detail is inspiring, from your home made chopines to the ribbon rosettes on your sleeves, all these small details really combine to give your gown a very realistic look."

"She looks so fabulous!  I'm not fond of this style but I have got to give her credit for creating a real authentic look, with details that give the dress that extra special-ness you don't see in a lot of the others."

"...She looks like someone just snapped a picture of one of the Courtesans.  It is truly lovely and a wonderful effort."

"Wonderfully period, down to the dramatic color and the hairstyle, and it makes the wearer more beautiful too!"

"The best fitting Venetian dresser of this year. And it’s lovely made with great care for the details... just look at those shoes!"

"This is well done, it is difficult to fit larger women and this dress is stunning.  The sleeves fit nicely."

"This dress is gorgeous! The color, the fit, the details – everything is perfect. Excellent work!"

"What can I say? Chopines! Stockings! Hairstyle! Not to mention the gown!"

"I love her choice of fabric The attention to details like the platform shoes!"

"Really the execution...was impressive, the fit, the extra touches, very impressive."

"Gorgeous. Your gown fits you beautifully!!! And the chopines are wonderful!!!"

"The fitting on this dress is lovely, it is also very well made and accessorized!"

"The net partlet and little ribbon rosettes are the perfect touch!"

"Perfect fit, lovely accessories and in general a very good reproduction of the look."

"Three words: Living Vecellio woodcut."

"Lovely, well-fitted Venetian, which the chopines make extra special!"

"Another very pretty Venetian dress. Love the shoes!"

"Nothing quite like the chopines! Wonderful!"

"Lovely accessories, achieves the look well."

"Love to see the detail!"

" 'cause she really did do this dress in 2 weeks."

"Her study & detail, especially the shoes!"

"Stunning on her! Loved the partlet"

"Lovely, and well done."

"Chopines, too! Lovely details, lovely ensemble."

"Beautiful, especially the partlet."


That's it for another year! 


Grazie mille!

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(© 2001 - 2008 Anabella Wake (Known in the SCA as Bella Lucia da Verona) I hold copyright on all information on these pages, and 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.