Two things you need to know about this dress: 1) Marguerite du Royon‘s heraldry is purple and gold with three fleur de lys, 2) Marguerite started her reign as Princess of the Mists wearing 1490s and has proceeded to wear later and later garb until this, the end of her reign, where she wanted to leave where the Society of Creative Anachronism’s time period finishes at 1600.
Oh, and she had five and a half yards of this crazy purple velvet with gold fleur-de-lys-printed fabric. And that’s how I got involved in the commission. I’m a sucker for wacky-cool fabric.
The pattern started with a basic 16th-century bodice block, which I modified for the extra-long front point to accommodate a lovely rosewood busk Marguerite had. The bodice and particularly the stomacher with peplum was inspired by the 1611 portrait of Maria de’Medici by Frans Pourbus the Younger. The white stomacher/peplum combo faintly resembles an upside-down fleur de lys on a dark ground. Marguerite had purchased a large wired ruff (sometimes called a “whisk”) in the shape of a fleur de lys to wear with a very late-period, 1590s-1600 gown. Thus, the idea was to have a fleur above and a fleur below.
Since the velvet was printed, we agreed that the gown didn’t need that much trim. Also, the stomacher, peplum, sleeves, and forepart (the later two made by Cynthia Fayrfax) are all in an ivory silk that’s both scalloped and pearled. So there was a lot going on already. The tiny line of gold and purple trim was all necessary to edge the stomacher and peplum. Marguerite came over in advance to try on the whole outfit and figure out the accessories. I recommended these pieces of jewelry from her collection to give the most period style.
The gown was first worn for SCA Mists Spring Investiture, May 2015.