This gown was constructed of red wool flannel and lined with blue silk. It is in the Italian/Southern European style late 15th century. I generally wear the gown with a square front, supportive kirtle (see images and description below) and a stuffed roll headdress created from a linen roll, wrapped in burgundy silk and banded with velveteen and pearl strips. In the two images below I am wearing a long transparent silk veil under the roll. The gown laces up the back, is closely fitted through the torso, and features full upper sleeves and tight fore sleeves. The back seam in the fore sleeve is slit and very small puffs of my linen smock can been seen.
The inspiration for this gown was drawn from several images in art work from the late 15th century, but mainly from a detail on the central panel of Memling's St. John Alterpiece. I love the sleeves, and the dress has a modest scoop neckline and lovely full skirt. In Memling's image there is no visible lacing and I have made an assumption that the lacing is in the back.
St John Altarpiece (central panel detail) by Hans Memling, 1474-79
Memlingmuseum, Sint-Janshospitaal, Bruges
The two photos below show the back lacing and the only additional embellishment on the gown - a nine strand braid, made in three parts and sewn to the neckline and the lacing edges.
Under the gown I am wearing a square front kirtle constructed of blue tabby-woven lightweight wool, with side lacing. The bottom edge of the kirtle features a pleated border beaded with glass pearls and glass beads. The embellishment on the hem is generally the only part of this garment that is ever on view. There are numerous examples in 15th century artwork whereby a non-embellished outer gown is lifted ever so slighty and modestly to reveal an elaborate gown underneath.
Details from the kirtle: side lacing (both sides, fulled wool strips sewn into the lacing edges for stiffness and hand-sewn eyelets); and beading on the lower pleated edge.
The image below depicts a lady in waiting helping Bathsheba from her bath. The lady is wearing a heavy, fur-lined gown over a kirtle with a square front and a deep, pleated border on the lower edge. One cannot discern from the painting if the under gown has sleeves or not.
Bathsheba by Hans Memling, ca. 1485
I am wearing a late 15th century style linen coif with the kirtle. It is contructed like a bonnet with a turned back front edge, and two tails which are brought up and around the head and then tied again in the back. A similar coif is shown below in a detail from the MS Douce 195 Romance of the Rose Manuscript. The coif is very simple to construct being made from one piece of linen cut on the fold with a clean selvage edge in front. The two tails are attached about 5 cm out from the central back seam.
Ms. Douce 195, f. 118