The Rose Awards for 2010

Greetings all,

2010 was a quieter year all 'round, no less so on the Italian Showcase. We were back where we started with 12 entrants, which must have made it easier to choose the top three. What's that? Do I hear you say that it wasn't any easier? Well, if I had to vote myself I would be agreeing with you. So many lovely styles, so much attention to detail and historical accuracy. I very much look forward to seeing what this year has to bring on the Italian Showcase, starting with the February showcase in just a day or two - keep an eye out for that one!

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 who 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 - you never fail to bring a smile to my face.

And to each and every one of the participants on the Italian Showcase I would like to say thank you a million times! If it were not for you there would be no Italian Showcase and no Rose Awards. Congratulations to all the winners, and many thanks for sharing your work with us. I look forward to seeing more lovely creations from all of you in the future. And to those of you who have told me you want to participate - the year is free, submit away! Anyway, without further is my honour and pleasure to announce the recipients of the Italian Showcase Rose Awards for 2010.


Grazie mille,



The Encouragement Award:

"I appreciate how Laura took on this project as a learning experience. There is always room to learn more! She was not afraid to show her work close up, and shouldn't be because it is good. The overall look of the gown is stunning and period, a grand mix of knowledge and skill. I enjoyed reading her very informative write up, it was also well done. BRAVO!"

"I like the research she did and that she taught herself how to make lace (I don't sew but I do make lace).  I appreciate her "OCD" pattern matching as it is rather a lost art."


"Beautiful fabric!"

"She made her own bobbin lace!" 

"Very informative."

"Really, all I have to say is that she learned how to tat lace to make trim for this project.  THAT is commitment."

"Her fabric choice is to die for and I'm intrigued by the sleeve construction."

"Would have been nice if she noted the controversy about whether or not corsets were actually worn in that period (kind of looks like she went by a lot of renfaire-isms & other periods for her research, plus I think I see serging inside the bodice), but the outfit is well fitted with lots of lovely details like hand-made bobbin lace."

"The crimson and gold colors on her gown were beautiful with her skin tones and hair color. I thought the display of the damask motif on the back of the bodice was precisely executed and very flattering to a woman's body.  It showed the pattern of the fabric and its full beauty.  The tiny pleats in the back were perfectly spaced and gave a full graceful feel to the skirt."

"I really enjoy her choice of fabric and how she made the details blossom!"

"Details ,underpinnings and hair make it complete."

"Great descriptions of the process."

"Love the cartridge pleating of the skirt and the slashed sleeves, I also appreciate the construction and look of the undergarments as well."

"Loved it, very impressive, good documentation."

"Very like the art."

"Love the  rich colour & pattern in this outfit."

"Exquisite! Beautiful. Remarkable detail. Authentic. Well executed. The joys and challenges of the project are very well documented."


"I may be affected by the fact that it’s a guy’s costume, much more unusual, but it really looks just like a portrait. The fit, sewing and details are just perfect and the construction period."

"Outstanding details in a well fitted outfit made this my favourite of 2010. The slashing of the doublet and breeches, the tie-ons with gold tips, the vertical gold trims, the choice of fabrics, the slashed shoes, the collar and cuff of the shirt... Everything looks utterly period, and it sums up to one fantastic, well crafted and well fitted attire. The overall result reminds a lot of Moroni's "Tailor" - which is a compliment!"

"impressive male costume and great to see a male who sews."

"We don't often see many men's outfits and this one was above and beyond. I'm partial to the more period appropriate outfits and this one doesn't disappoint. The choice of color and trim was well thought out. And while it certainly does have a ton of details (Slashing, cording, etc) it doesn't look over done. Definitely a well dressed Laurel."

"It is refreshing to see some mens wear on here. I like the fact that it is a great head to toe look."

"Well done for a Florentine Knight's outfit. Only detraction I see is his hand being in the pocket, Now I could be wrong in the Italian fashions But they did not have pockets in the paned slops."

"His outfit just looks so perfect, with attention paid to every detail. Plus, I love seeing a man make his own outfit!"

"I adore the fact that not only is he wearing a codpiece, but that he's actually got working points. His detailing is awesome."

"The construction of this outfit is so intricate and I wish there were two spots for number one. The amount of braid on this ensemble is mind-boggling. It really makes one thankful that we have machines to help us in the modern day. I wish my husband would wear this type of outfit as I think it truly has class and is beautiful. I would have liked a little more explanation of his construction methods, however.

"WOW.. is all I can say.. again, excellent attention to detail from head to foot. It's obvious is execution AND research came through."

"Nice to see a guy in this competition."

"I am always impressed by an attempt to make men's period attire, because it is so much more structurally complex than women's.  Francis--even granting that he has had some help--has done an impressive job in recreating the period look.  He truly does appear to have stepped from a period portrait.  That level of detail in a man's recreated costume is rare indeed."

"A stunning recreation, the sheer amount of time and effort put into this outfit is amazing. Major kudos to all involved."

"Beautifully made & tailored, with elaborate surface embellishments true to the period, all very well researched & executed in historic fashion. And hey, he made the shoes too! Oh, also very thoughtful to credit others where they helped (even tho' it was on very small parts of the outfit)."

I really love it when it is an outfit, not just the clothing, as complete as can be, and this for a guy, even down to his own shoes? Amazing! I have shown this to my boys and Hubby so that they can see how awesome males clothing can be."

"I have to say I'm highly impressed with this garb. All of the details are fantastic! The doublet is gorgeous, and I love the slashes in it!  Very awesome!"

"Any guy who can pull that outfit off deserves at minimum a third place vote!  Very, very well done."

"You see so few male outfits presented and the finish and detail on this one is lovely.  I only put him second due to the color choice honestly."

"The outfit is a knockout!"

"Love to see some men in good clothing!"

"The overall fit is excellent, with nary a wrinkle. It is the attention to details, from inside to outside, and all the small cuts which is exacting and time consuming. Not as flashy as embroidery or beading, but the attention to detail from head to points to well crafted shoe is why this places second in my vote. Bravo to Francis and his entire team for creating this excellent ensemble."

"I was very impressed to see a man pay such attention to detail."

"Francis’ dedication to research, detail, and quality really shows through in this exciting example of Men’s Renaissance clothing.  Plus, he’s got the shoes!!!"

"A beautifully fitted and pinked suit! Wish more men could sew like this!"


"Very classy and elegant. Love the use creams & gold in the outfit."

Congratulations Laura and Francis!

And the winners are....

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

Congratulations Laura!

"I very much admire the beading on the sleeves."

"I adore this style and it IS more difficult to make costumes for women with larger busts, which shows that she knows her work. The construction isn’t period correct the way the first two costumes [voted for] are, but the result is beautiful and flattering."

"Another outfit with lovely details and good fitting overall. Especially the sleeves and shoulders on this one is impressive, and I also think the fabrics compliment each other well. I'm not convinced stays and farthingales were worn in Florence in the 1570s, but most tend to wear it anyway, and the wearer do look lovely in her attire. And I love the colours."

"Amazing beadwork."

"The sleeves are beautifully beaded – having done this so I know how much time and effort it takes. It looks beautiful!" 

"Beautiful bead-work!"

"Hand beaded sleeves FTW!"

"Fabulous choice of color and fabrics. Beading is a spectacular detail to add to the dress. Definitely stands out. Also, looks like a perfectly period copy of the dress in the painting. I love this dress because it has character, style and flair." 

"I love the embroidery and beadwork on the sleeves and chest piece. And the accuracy of the rounded collar to the picture. She really made a beautiful replica.

"All that beading on the dress. I love the pearls and that deep blue. Bellissimo!"

"I love that this was again something very DIFFERENT from the other traditional Venetian style dresses. The beading and sleeves were just fantastic! And I love the neckline, very unique."

"Attention to detail is above and beyond in the bead work. The color scheme  was perfect and the neckline elegant. Oh yea, did I mention the bead work?"

"Hand-beading, gorgeous color choices, and excellent craftsmanship!"

"The bead work is amazing!"

"Loved the detail on this. The hand beading was superb."

"Great detail! I don't see this gown recreated often. I'll probably use her notes to make one of my own one day."

"Exquisite detail is wonderful."

"Loved the beading."

"The beaded sleeves, stomacher and hat are awesome.  Detail detail detail."

"Very do-able showcase, I shall make a dress in this style myself!"

"Wonderful dress, I am in love with the pale yellow silk used. However the skirt could have more body, but then again, I am practically English in my preference for fullness in the skirts. The detachable sleeves are great, especially for hot days at Fair."

"This gown is also just exquisite!  I've seen other of Laura's work, and she is just awesome.  This style of gown is lovely, and I love the colors she chose.  She did a marvellous job of putting this all together!"

"The hand beading was extraordinary. The detail to authenticity of period and style is stunning. And the comments were snarky enough to show that the designer doesn't think too highly of herself, and is a true artist. Exquisite. Simply Exquisite. Hands down for me the best technical designer featured."

"The bead work is simply amazing.

"I love the overall look of the finished outfit and the detail of the pieces.  The color combo is fabulous making this piece look rich.  This one embodies the feel of what I think of as Renaissance Italy."

"The simple detail on this is stunning!  Deceivingly effortless."

"I like the detailed decoration."

"The bead work is gorgeous! And the colors lovely."

"I liked this one specifically for it's obscure quality- being able to interpret a portrait from the shoulders up is difficult and her result is fabulous! The beading was wonderful."

"Beautiful fabric choice. Well fit, especially on the back shoulders. You can tell she's wearing the correct underpinnings- and that they are well fit also. Stunning beading job."


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

Congratulations Ariel!

"Love the colors and especially the hair"

"From head to chopines, this is my favorite!"

"For her superior craftsmanship and dedication in getting that beautiful lace collar with the intricate beading to stand up so well and the intricacies of the cap sleeve which she thinks was easy (!) and it all works together looks so well - just like the inspiration picture! Her details in the description of building the outfit shows me she knows so much of the craftsmanship required for a gown such as this! Ariel has taught us all a few tricks of our own with her description of the construction of this dress - thank you!!! She has researched the 17th century courtesan so well I can see her floating down the gondolas in Venice in that gown and with that hair too - even the accessories work well! Can’t say enough about the capabilities - and results! - of this seamstress! It’s perfect!" 

"Outstanding job for her first period costume.  LOVE the collar!"

"Most beautiful dress and great photo and write-up."

"I love the detail in the collar and woven cap sleeve. The fabric choice is absolutely stunning."

"I like that she just went for it. Her explanation of how she made it is enough to inspire any one. Also, I like that she admits to making a few misjudgements yet made it all work together."

"Her attention to detail in the collar, sleeves, the clean and even lacing and oooh the hair! She made a proper re-creation yet made it 'her own'  This pushed her over the top for me."

"Great effort and affect. Definitely the best."

"ME! I’m voting for me because I had a collar and sleeves that no one else had – the other dresses were beautiful but very similar this year."

"The woven sleeves and perfect lines sold me. It is lovely, the colors are great, and the seams perfect!"

"Put together beautifully though I'd wish she'd reveal her collar secret!" 

"Love the detail in the sleeves especially."

"The woven cap sleeves are just gorgeous. From someone who does sew I would pay someone else to do this type of detail work just because I get too frustrated. It adds the perfect touch."

"Another exception to my dislike of split front bodices. Ariel's dress is spectacular however, the collar and wig distract from the rest of it. Those sleeves! They are fantastic, the detail work is sublime."

"When I saw those sleeves, I just drooled!  It's a gorgeous gown, and all of the little points are just exquisite.  She definitely pays attention to details."

"It’s just a great piece to look at and the wig is a wonderful finishing touch."

"The outfit is great and I like that she names the people who have inspired or helped her."

"This whole outfit is smashing!  Another great example attention to detail that really makes a dress stand out."

"Amazing collar & hair."

"Beautiful fit. Good fabric choice. Simple, understated design allows the fabric to speak for itself. Not terribly fond of the contrast on the chemise wrist, though. The pie crust sleeves look perfect and the lace collar is stunning."

"The woven lattice fabric cap sleeves were impressive and very interesting. Those must have been very difficult to sew!"

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

Congratulations Sheree!

"Great work on the sleeves."

"A very good near copy of the gown in the portrait."

"Yet another recreation of Allori's portrait of a Medici princess. At this point the details has to stand out to catch my interest. This one surely does. Lovely embroidered collar, the jewelry, the use of a supportive sottana instead of a corset... it all appealed to me. Very nice work on the sleeves as well. I secretly wish the veste was bright blue like in the portrait, as I think the blue/yellow combination is striking. But I do love how this version turned out."

"Love the embroidered collar."

"It's shameful I know, to vote for yourself, but I do like my dress best of all!!" (Bella: No it's not!)

"For those sleeves alone! Good work on the sheer parallel banding of the sleeves – she worked it out well and it finishes beautifully!" 

"Stunning work. Sheree's passion for creating beautiful pieces shines with every detail of this dress. Her write up was more than informative - it was inspiring!!"

"Beautiful fit and lovely details. I am especially enamoured by the embroidery."

"Her details, fitting and proportion of this dress are some of the best I've seen for this particular portrait."

"This gown is so stunning! There is so much attention to detail and Mrs. Paulson shows step-by-step how to accomplish some of the more difficult parts of sewing with sheer fabrics in an easier way. I also appreciate how she explained her construction and her use of modern materials to achieve a period look, such as with the bum-roll. This own looks as if it could have come right from the past. In a word - AMAZING." 

"Those sleeves! I love those sleeves! And the undies? You have to love a girl who embroiders her kirtle, even though she's the only one who really sees it. So.... girly. =}"

"Beautiful, excellent job. The fact she took the time to disseminate what she was seeing in the painting she was using as inspiration- not everyone would look that deeply."

"Several other costumers have attempted to recreate the attire in the Allori portrait of Maria di Cosimo de Medici for the Italian Showcase. None have gotten the sleeves just right - until now.  The fit of the bodice, as well as the marvellously done jewelry, also contribute to the splendor of the look, but I am so impressed with the sleeves that I would almost have selected Sheree on that basis alone."

"For the lovely embroidery details."

"Love the detail on this."

"I love this outfit, it looks like she just stepped from a painting, and her partlet is very "Squeee" worthy."

"Details! LOVE the embroidered partlet."

"The detail here is very well done and the finished ensemble is a work of art."

"This is the *BEST* reproduction of this gown that I've seen."

"It was the hand embroidery and hand created jewelry that won my vote for first place. The time spent lining up the 2-part sleeves for the trim also impressed me, as the result is lovely. While the fabric chosen is not as flashy as some other of the entries, the overall gown and ensemble looks very much like the inspiration piece."

"Loved the gown and appreciated the extremely helpful documentation for those wanting to learn to make their own."

"OMG, that dress and details are awesome and she's a mother of four? Amazing!"

 "Such innovation and attention to the most minute details. Even the undergarments of which few will see were beautifully adorned with detail."

"Sheree’s gown is gorgeous and the color scheme is lavish .  The attention to detail she put into each layer of her outfit is inspiring--beautiful embroidery, trims, and jewels…what else could you ask for?"

"I love her take on the Allori painting, particularly the attention to detail with the embroidery on the smock. I appreciated her 'notes' in regards to construction too. Mostly, I think that any seamstress who can manage to pull off such a marvelous gown and have 4 children running around all day certainly deserves an incredible amount of respect!"

"A good likeness to the inspiration portrait. Overall good fabric and trim choices - my only reservation here is the vertical stripe trim on the sleeves. Well fit. Definitely a Spanish silhouette, though the painting seems more Italianate. Nice shoulder treatments, and a beautifully embroidered and beaded partlet."


That's it for another year! 


Grazie mille!

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