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Topic: art history nerd needs help (any costume historians around?)  (Read 1062 times)
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ambear
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« on: November 22, 2006 08:44:41 PM »

hello, recently I was looking at the Michelangelo painting of Sybil in the Sistine Chapel, and I noticed that her dress is highly unusual. Anybody want to guess how its made, and what makes it stay up? I'd like to try and reproduce it, but have no idea where to begin for the bust portion.
http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/michelan/p-michel20.htm sybil (Michelangelo, sistine chapel)

also, if you're also an art history geek, and love fabric, check out the dress in this bronzino painting. its insanely gorgeous:
http://www.gfmer.ch/Art_for_Health/Images/Italian_Renaissance/Bronzino_Eleonora.jpg
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Kitten0Face
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2006 09:06:39 PM »

The only thingI can see if the sash under the bust.  If you wanted to re-create it, you could tack the orangey part to the white part.

Does that help?
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ambear
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2006 06:32:27 AM »

not really but thank you. i understand that the sash helps t hold it up, but the corners of the orange portion are stiff, so i wonder what they are made of...also its very lowcut to be a strapless dress.
my teacher is unsure wether it is historically accurate or not...
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2006 09:26:33 AM »

I don't know about anything like that historically, but I've only had a brief overview.

As far as the laws of reality and science and gravity go howver... Thats another story Smiley

If you wanted it to be stiff, you could always put boning it it, the wider plastic type, like used in eveningwear/ prom dresses.  Plus, since it's plastic, you could always take it back out and heat it and curve it slightly if it looks too straight once it's inserted.

It's definatley a cool design.
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2006 09:33:11 AM »

Your teacher's probably right, I think it's probably not historically accurate, but if you did want to make a copy, it looks like the side seam of the dress above and just below the sash has holes in it for lacing (probably too early for buttons), so, at least in the artists' head, that's probably how it stayed up, and it's in disarray as it's shown in the painting. 

It also looks like there's some kind of fastening or lacing at the center back, so it might be that the dress stays up by being laced in the back and at both side seams, like some corsets that have several panels that lace together.  You could probably make the bodice stiff either with some interfacing, or with a heavy lining, like duck or twill. 

It is a really neat design, I'd love to see pictures if you give it a try!
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qazicat
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2006 04:52:56 PM »

historically I don't thing anyone wore a dress like that, and certainly not in Michaelangelo's time.  Micky was probably using artistic license to add to compostion of the painting.

However if you want to create the dress,  it is certainly do-able with modern sewing techniques and materials.  I would use plastic boneing and very heavy interfacing.

I would create this in 3 parts.
The white under dress.  I would use a dress with a tight fitting bodice with boneing to keep it from falling down.  Much like a prom dress.
The orangey over dress.  More plastic boneing and stiff interfacing.  I would have snaps or hooks so I could attach it to the bodice of the white under dress,  There appears to be lacing in the centre back.  I would recreate this look  but I wouldn't actually have it as functioning lacing.
Then a separate sash.  The sash is mostly decorational and to pull the over dress into the waist.  It would not be actually used to hold the over dress up.
 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2006 05:07:19 PM by qazicat » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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