Many of you probably don't know I've been part of a reenactment group for several years, from 2004 to 2008. Before getting my dress from Armstreet I wore several dresses of the brand Leonardo Carbone but, if you wanna be the perfect reenactor, you need to do a little bit of research about fashion and dressing. I've always been in love with medieval fashion with a touch of fantasy elements, so you can imagine why I left the group to start the modelling activity.
I'm quite lucky 'cause I can get the medieval look perfectly since I've a very light skin and curly hair, that's true. Beside that, I always loved to look at other ladies and movies to find my own inspiration. The first one has been Sophie Marceau in "Braveheart". I simply love her long brown hair and her dresses, I'm currently looking to recreate her beautiful veil for some shots. I was very young when the movie came out, so her character impressed me a lot.
It was the same year when I watched for the first time "Lady Hawke". It has been love at first sight. The story is so full of magic and love, sadness and sorrow. I watch it every year (during Christmas, normally) and I cannot avoid to cry every time; you should watch it with your children, it's a very romantic story and most of the movie has been shot in Italy.
But now, let's stop movies and legends. I'm currently checkin' out some historical costumes to sew by my own since I cannot afford new shopping at the moment. I found some very interesting models in the anglosaxon dress, the bliaut and the kirtle. These dresses are in chronological order, so the Anglo-Saxon is the first in our fashion story and the kirtle the last one, being used at the beginning of 15th century mainly in France and England. The Bliaut was worn during 12th century in french courts and it has very beautiful long sleeves with side laces for a perfect fit: my dress from Armstreet is inspired to this model, but sides are not open. I think this is the most iconographic dress of the whole period.
|That's me in my bliaut inspired dress|
The kirtle has a very tight fitting, as the cotehardie, around breast and waist, so avoid this model if you're not in shape (like me...sigh). Anyway, I love its long sleeves and the deep cleavage, I must try to reproduce it but in a larger size :P
For hair and make-up? Well, images and painting from the era are the best source. Wear less make up at possible (ok, this doesn't count for me, I wore many times grey or black eye shadows during shootings ^^') and try to keep your skin as white as possible. The Norman beauty represented the ideal for the whole period, so the dresscode is quite clear: pale skin, light eyes, blond hair (better if curly). If you have 2 or 3 of these characteristics, you're ok (Yay! I miss the blond hair only, LOL).
Then, after these boring space dedicated to fashion, the History of the period fascinated me a lot. I chose Roman history at University for several reasons but I always read about medieval times. I've always been interested in Crusades so Templars have been part of my own inspirations from ages! My ex boyfriend used to reenact a hospitaller knight due to the black clothing, but I've always felt more attracted by the red one, I consider it more christian (red is the colour of martyrs) :)