The Flemish gown research has become an excuse to make funny hats. YAY!!!! Because there are few things I love more than wearing crazy things on my head. First, I thought, oh sure, I’ll need some nice little linen cap. Then it looked like maybe a new type of wired cap a la Netherlands (because, oh yeah, did they go nuts with wired caps in the 16th century! see: barbels on the Facebook Elizabethan Costume community).
But what really caught my eye was this cap-cloak thingy with a duck-bill shape on the head that’s in the Lucas de Heere book. I mean, wtf is going on there? It’s awesomely bizarre. I don’t know, but it’s fucking crazy & I may need to make that just for the hell of it.
Is the duck bill to keep off rain or sun? Rain seems likely because of the curled brim, except that the most likely materials (starched &/or wired linen &/or buckram) wouldn’t be rainproof at all. I guess it could be a canvas, maybe waxed or oiled to repel water, but I don’t know how common that was used in hats in this era.
I need some contemporary written descriptions, not just images, & who writes about country-folk clothes at that time? I know where to find descriptions of upper-class clothes, but not the lower folk. Hrm…
I did find two more images, a woman in one of those “catalogs of what women of Europe are supposedly wearing in the 16th century” & a man…
The oddest is the man in Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting “Netherlandish Proverbs,” which is also called “The Blue Cloak” due to the central image of a woman putting a blue *duck-billed cloak* on a man. This image is supposed to represent a wife cuckolding her husband, according to every online analysis of the painting (& presumably lots of offline theses as well, which I need to get access too when I can hit up the library). What is unclear to me is if the meaning of cuckolding comes from the blue color of the cloak, the act of putting a cloak on one’s husband, or if the duck-bill shape of the cloak’s hood has any connection. Nobody says.
None-the-less, I’m obsessed! So once I finish the gown, I’m totally making one of these things, & I promise not to put it on my husband or make it in blue. However, I might quack (damn you).