16th Century Clothes

1588 Dress
Sture Suit, 1560

Anniversaries always provide interesting opportunities to work on an array of costume. For example, a wide selection of costumes was needed for the Armada celebrations in 1988 including the two on this page.

I have recently finished a figure of Queen Elizabeth I, based on a portrait owned by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. The original is at Boughton House, Kettering, Northants., and may be seen at Boughton House (in the “Portraits” section.) The figure is now on display at the Isle of Wight Pearl. Photos are to be seen in the Photo Gallery.

The dress above is based on a sketch by Nicholas Hilliard of a gown very similar to that worn by Elizabeth I in the Armada Portrait.

The man’s suit was made from the”Sture Suit” pattern in Janet Arnold’s book Patterns of Fashion 1560-1620 which is based on her study of actual garments. The photo was taken on the stage of the Globe Theatre in London, at a Memorial Service for Janet.

I was fortunate that Janet herself saw this costume at various events and commented quite favourably on how it looked.

Photographs of costumes I made for Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, worn by Heathcliff Heroics at Eltham Palace recently, will shortly be posted on the Picture Gallery.