I’ve never done live recreation, I’m not a cosplayer or a LARPer, so despite my love of all things medieval I’ve never (!!) immersed myself to the point of getting dressed up. In fact, I remember a rather memorable Air B&B stay at an academic medieval conference and the host being rather disappointed that I emerged for my day dressed not in a glorious costume, but in a jacket and smart dress.
Well, all that’s about to change as I’m embarking on an exciting collaboration with my good friend Lily of Lily’s Vintage Salon. If you happen to look at her site, you might notice that it’s more 1940s than 1240s, but Lily also has a sideline in making beautiful dresses to order. Since this was a little bit out of both of our comfort zones, I thought it was a great opportunity to have a little adventure together.
I know a lot (a lot, like, wayyy too much) about medieval literature, but not an awful lot about how dresses are made. I like to express my opinion (loudly) about anachronistic costumes when I watch historical TV dramas set in the period with which I am familiar, but I don’t know, really, all that much about how clothes were put together.
I also didn’t want to create something that was a reconstruction and that I would only be able to wear in very specific, very medieval-focussed settings, so I turned to pop culture (where else?) for some inspiration for making the medieval modern. Of course, where better than Game of Thrones for a mix of psuedo-medieval and high fashion? I didn’t want to go full Danaerys Targaryen (I don’t want an “evening dress” that’s medieval style) but I wanted to capture some of that modern/medieval fusion that the Game of Thrones costume department manage so well.
So I sent my “idea board” (so amateur, I know) to Lily and the adventure began….