Lady Isabella Mea Caterina D’Angelo
(Elizabeth Caldwell)

The Barony of Storvik, Kingdom of Atlantia
(Greenbelt, Maryland, USA)

Costumer and SCA Member

A Florentine Outfit in the Style
 of  the 1540s

(Highlighted/bordered images are click-able for enlarging)

Isabella Says....

My name is Isabella Mea Caterina D’Angelo in the SCA. I reside in the Kingdom of Atlantia within the household of Blackspear. I have been sewing for about ten years and doing historical costuming for about eight. 

I was first inspired to do the pink dress worn by Eleanora di Toledo in one of Agnolo Bronzino’s portraits of her in 2004, when I saw the painting at the Philadelphia Art Museum. I managed to gather the fabric and cording to start the project but didn’t tackle it until 2008.



I created my own pattern based on Eleanora’s burial dress, which is from a later date. I rounded the waistline to make it look like the dresses from the 1540’s rather than from the early 1560’s. 

The lining of the dress is out of white linen. The dress itself is pink dupioni silk. Although not entirely accurate, the color of the silk looked appropriate and the price was far better than a more even silk would have been. I used the least slubbed pieces of the silk for the bodice while using the slubbier pieces for the skirt, where it would be less noticeable.

The pink silk and sheer organza I'm using for the gown. The organza silk is for the partlet.


For the neckline of the dress, I took La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia’s advice, based on her experience with this style, and cut a bit of silk on the bias and pinked it to recreate the effect shown in the portrait. I also did this to the edging of the sleeve panels. 


The couching of the gold cord along the bodice and the front panels of the sleeves took the longest. Each roundel was hand pinned into place and then sewn down using a matching gold thread. 

The sleeves have three freshwater pearls sewn for the aglets, again, the recreate the effect in the painting. 


The partlet is out of silver silk organza. I took a gold ribbon and sewed a blue ribbon on top of it. I then sewed these down in a criss-cross pattern on to the partlet. On top of this, at every cross, I sewed a freshwater button pearl. 

The chemise is made out of a hanky weight linen/cotton. Although it looks like such a mix was available at the time in Italy, the main reason for my decision was price. 



  You can contact Isabella at jubileel (at)

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© 2001 - 2009 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.