07 January 2015

The Headgear Discrepancy

In the Hungarian National Museum exhibit, the extant Hapsburg wedding gown is shown sans headgear. There's a white scarf or veil wrapped around the head of the display mannequin (as seen here); but no other head covering is shown - the focus is on the dress itself.  To my knowledge, there is no headgear that goes with that extant dress.

So, in researching the Hapsburg wedding gown for my red-and-white version, at some point along the way I decided that I'd make a truncated hennin to wear with it.  The decision was based on (a) the Hapsburg gown being a combination of Burgundian and German styling, and (b) I kept coming across portaits of Mary of Hungary/Hapsburg that were either German in styling or French.  A little bit more research and I would have realized that I was actually seeing portraits of two entirely different women!

Marie de Bourgone, Michel Pocher, c. 1490

The first is Marie de Bourgone, (1457-1482), daughter of Charles the bold and Duchess of Burgundy. This is the Mary of Burgundy so often depicted in classic Burgundian dress with the steepled hennin.

Hans Maler, 1520
The second is Mary of Austria, also called Mary of Hungary after her marriage to Louis II (for which event the "Hapsburg gown" was created), and Governor of the Netherlands after his death, as regent for her brother, Ferdinand I.  She's the daughter of Philip I and Joana "the Mad" of Castile, and the niece of Catherine of Aragon...and is no relation to Mary of Burgundy.

Portraits of this Mary are often of Mary as Governor of the Netherlands, after her first husband's death, and in these later portraits, her garb looks decidedly more German.

(There are a also couple of portaits of her wearing mourning dress, after her second husband's death, which looks like it's probably Tudor-y, but I haven't been able to track down sources for them other than or hobbyist blogs which have no documentation).

Why didn't I catch this?  Because all of my research was about the *dress*, not the woman herself.   There is a also, I've discovered, a LOT of confusion between the two out there on the internet, a lot of blogs and A&S papers and other sources which list incorrect names for both women and/or present both women as the same person.  It took some digging into the parentage and domain of both Marys to figure out which one was which.  ARGH.

So, now what? 

Man, I have no idea.  While the Hapsburg gown is, technically, contemporary to late Burgundian fashion, during which women were still wearing hennins, I *could* get away with it...but now I know I've been confusing my Marys, I feel like it's not the right hat for the dress.  And, of course,  I can find NO period portraits of her in a gown that looks like the actual Hapsburg wedding gown.

I don't have time to make a big ol' German hat.  And the Hapsburg gown isn't a big ol' German hat type of dress, anyway.

When I did my original research on the patterning and construction of the Hapsburg wedding gown, I found three others made by SCAdians on the web, and...none of them are wearing headgear at all in the photographs.


Anyway, in the meantime, I thought I'd share my research-fail with you, because I thought it was kinda funny.  I really should have clued in, earlier, to the fact that I might actually be looking at two different women!

Oh, yeah...

So, here's the truncated hennin that I made:

(this is my "seriously?!" face)
The hat is made of a double-layer of heavy cross-stitch fabric (because that's what I had), covered with some blue drapery fabric scraps that I adhered to the cross-stitch fabric with spray adhesive.  The drape across the front is black velveteen salvaged from an old coat.

I folded the point of the cone inward to blunt the end and add stability to the hat itself, which was pretty flimsy before I did that.

Inside the "brim", the edge of the blue drapery fabric is turned under the edge of the cross-stitch fabric and the raw edges covered with a strip of ribbon hot-glued and stitched in place by hand.

While it doesn't show well in the photo for whatever reason, my silk gauze veil is sheer enough that the color and pattern of the hennin shows through it.  I really like the effect.

Not bad for a little hat that I totally didn't need and don't have anything to wear with.  :P


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