This year our midwinter feast had the theme of Not Quite Right, so it inspired me to finally get my new garb finished, it was a mixture of 1570s Florentine meets Star Trek, including Tribble-ino accessory.
I decided to go all in, did documentation and entered the Arts &Sciences competition on the night, and was very surprised to win with an amazingly high score!
So here I shall share some pictures and a copy of my write up.
Not Quite Right Documentation:
Commander Violetta has beamed down to Earth in the year 2022. A plague is ravishing the entire planet. This was not our goal year when we attempted the slingshot maneuver around the sun to return to the year 1577 but the unexpected solar flare threw us off by several centuries.
Our first away team has been scattered all over the planet and we’ve sent the commander down to try to recover the escaped tribble that scanners show is rampaging in Inglewood before it can start to multiply and further ravage the planet with its ever expanding numbers.
Due to missing by several centuries, and replicators being offline, Violetta had already hand made a replica outfit to fit in with the original target of Florence 1577, hence we have inserted her into a group in Perth that dress in unusual ways so that she may blend in and capture the tribble.
Of course in the 1570s this would all have been produced in silk and linen, by professional tailors however Commander Violette spend some weeks while we have been marooned here in 2022 completing these items using what materials we had to hand, such as silk, sari fabric, and cottons on an ancient device called a sewing machine that she self taught herself to use.
Her outfit was inspired by the self portrait of Lavinia Fontana at the clavichord,(image 1) dated 1577, but also taking elements from The Nativity by Fredico Zuccari.(image 2)
The shirt with open ruffled neckline, features hand embroidered blackwork, done on cotton linen blend fabric chosen to negate the wearers allergy to pure linen fabrics. The design although reminiscent of designs of the time around the decade 1570, depicts elements of our noble Star Trek history, such as the flagship USS Enterprise, the USS Voyager,a ship of our allies a Kingon Bird of Prey, our nemesis The Borg cube, plus other items such as phaser, batleth, Picards cup of tea and many stars. This work was completed in cotton using a double running stitch. Construction of the shirt was completed using a pattern found on The Elizabethan Costuming website (http://www.elizabethancostume.net/) on both a sewing machine and hand finishing.Buttons and loops for the cuffs were made by hand.
To further complete this away mission outfit, the colours were chosen to reflect our standard uniforms, however no rank was to be signified so gold, black and red were used.
To obtain the correct silhouette the next layer of a proper florentine outfit would be the sottana. The bodice is stiffened, in the original era this would have been achieved using linen stiffened to a cardboard like consistency, however as this method employed animal based glue that we no longer utilize, the bodice employs two layers of thick canvas with boning channels sewn in and plastic cable ties used to create the bones instead of metal or bone. These layers are then covered with a silk outer and a cotton lining. The bodice laces closed with spiral lacings on the sides towards the back for ease of movement and closure.The skirt was cut in the manner of one found on the burial dress of Eleanor of Toledo, a famous woman of Florence from our history files. The hem of the skirt is finished with a layer of cotton velveteen to add weight which will allow it to move out of the way of the wearer’s feet when walking. Decorative cut velvet banding was added to give extra interest. The garment was sewn primarily on a sewing machine however all visible seams were done by hand.
The last layer that was produced was a zimarra or coat. This features removable red silk sleeves with lace and pearl cuffs. The gown was patterned using a cutting pattern for a Mongil Trancado from Juan de Alcega’s historic book. The sleeves were adapted to reflect those shown in the Lavinia Fontana self portrait, and were self drafted to achieve the required look, including the ruffled and pointed baragoni ( or sleeve rolls). Trim and pearling were all added by hand.
It is hoped that Commander Violetta manages to capture the Tribble before it starts to reproduce on planet earth as its devastating effects are well known by other planets such as the Klingon homeworld. She has gone prepared with a specially designed halter with which to restrain the beast and make it blend into her outfit as a “Tribbl-ino” similar to the zibellinos carried by ladies in the 16th century as accessories to show their wealth.
We wish Commander Violetta as the best in her efforts, and stand by ready to beam her up at the conclusion of this mission.
Captain’s log ends.