Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More French/English Hood exploration

I've been having TOO much fun with these Elizabethan hoods.

By too much fun, I mean that I was up last night till 3:00 finishing this one, just so that I could see how it looked!  All mine have been all black till now, but I had a request for a dark red velvet one, so I did a bunch more portrait research to make sure I knew which parts should/could be red, and where the bling should go and what shapes really exist in the bling pieces....and then i stayed up super late making one.

Here are some shots of the results, on a wig, since at 3:00 AM, I was not photo worthy:

(Click make big on all shots.)

Fabrics are white silk shantung, burgundy red cotton velvet, and black wool crepe.

And Bling.

Really, this whole late-night-hooding came about because I'd ordered some awesome new bling, and I really REEEEELY wanted to try it out to see if it worked the way it did in my head, so I had to make the bling a hat to wear. Like...right then. (Yeah, I know.)

Here's a close-up of the bling, which is made from metalized (gold plated) beads, glass pearls, and these super cool gold metal links with SQUARE glass stones in them.

NOTE: Do you know how hard it is to locate black SQUARE stones in gold settings that can pass for Tudor rather than Victorian?? Do you??

HINT:  It is hard.

 Other than the result, which I have to say, I ADORE, there is another exciting thing about it.

The veil and upper billiment are one piece, separate from the front pieces. They are currently attached, quite securely, with two straight pins.  This means that they are easily removable and could be put on other headpieces to change up the look with minimal investment.

This brings me to the questions of "how might OTHER people want these hats":
  • Should the upper billiment/veil assembly be removable/reusable or does that sound like a failure waiting to happen or maybe too much trouble? 
  • How much design input would YOU want or expect to have if you found a shop (let's just say...MY shop)  at an event selling these? Would you want to pick out all the layers and have me assemble it for you, or would you prefer to simply choose from finished ones on the shelf.
  • Does a BYOB (build-your-own-billiment) station sound like SO much fun to you? Might you want to pick out and string your own billiment beads on a wire if all the bits were there to play with, and it could be ready to be attached to the hood in about half an hour with no glue?? (or should that be a workshop/class instead?)
  • Do you like the idea of keeping ALL the layers separate so that you could mix, match, change styles, decades, colors, billiments, etc and potentially have a wardrobe of pieces to play with, or would you want it all attached so that all you have to do is style your hair and put it on and go?
I'd really love your thoughts on this. I know what sounds like fun to ME - but there may be a difference between what sound like fun and what someone might want to own and wear.

(Plus -I'm kindof super deeply into headwear...and I may not be the NORM)


  1. I am probably (likely) not the norm either. I want all the pieces separate. I also love the BYOB idea.

  2. Thanks Salli - It's great to know that I am not alone :)

  3. As a man shopping for a gift for his wife, I would prefer off the shelf or the option of picking the layers and you do the assembling. Not sure how many men you get shopping for Tudor hats for their SO but I might.

    The builder side of me likes the idea of keeping the layers separate to have maximum flexibility.

    1. Thanks David - that's an excellent thought. I occasionally get people shopping for their SO as a surprise, but that is usually after they have seen their sweetie try on a hat of a similar style. I think there will have to be SOME pre-built ones on the shelf.

      Fortunately, these are one size fits most. :)

  4. Hey there chicka! I love the idea of mix and match sets!

    You might want to offer the BYOB as a workshop a few times and then open it up at your shop. Try to remember that if there is only you running the shop, you can get overrun with people wanting your help building things.

    Looks good though! I love it.

    1. The practicality of supervising/assisting with the BYOB is definitely a concern, Especially since some of these beads are pretty pricey, and I would want to make sure they aren't accidentally dropped in the dirt. :(

      A couple of workshops sounds good - or perhaps by appointment only so that I can have assistance lined up.

      And thanks - glad you like it :)

    2. I live close. I volunteer myself to be your first BYOB tester, for science you know. :-)

  5. As a runner of a Theatre that would love to someday have a supply of such hoods, getting a basic supply to have at the ready would mean "Pre-made, sturdy, with your scholarship standing for their authenticity". Then, as needed, a few 'mix and match sets' to go with a variety of color pallets for different costume sets that we will eventually acquire. If my need could be extended to the popular crowds, Off the shelf at the ready for the impulse shopper or the one wanting to start their 'kit'. Customization for those willing to wait and pay a bit extra for their custom creation (pre-paid, thank you). Workshops to help spread the fame, knowledge and your awesomeness. Lastly, a kit, unassembled, with instructions, for people far away that want to 'do it themselves' but from parts already ready, but so they don't have to do it from the growing of the silkworms and flax. Like Heathkit, only with beads of pearls vs solder. (Is anyone here old enough to remember Heathkit?) Truly-Kits?

  6. I agree with Salli. Separate pieces, please. And the BYOB idea sounds grand.

  7. Madinia here

    Oh crap, it ate my comment. Pfoo, will try to recreate.
    If I were buying for a performer's use, I'd want it all attached to prevent disorder or loss.
    For me, I'd want it as authentic as possible.
    I'm interested in your take on how such things were done. When I look at paintings I see: coif, another coif, but of the Mary-Queen-Of-Scots heart shaped headdress/attifet variety, then a veil. Frequently with a billiment or two; on the veil edge and coif edge.
    What do you think?
    And: OMG Gorgeous!!!

    1. I HATE that eating-the-comment thing!

      I've found that it is almost impossible for me to speak generally about these things. It's much better to look at the same picture together and talk about what we think is going on in THAT image.

      That said: The general image I'm using seems to have a black cap, which is stiffened to the point that I went ahead and made it a covered, wired piece, another stiff, black, pointed piece on top of the cap, which I have made a covered shape that is not wired (didn't find that I needed it, since all it does is sit smoothly on the cap layer) and then the billiment and veil. My hood differs from my inspiration piece in that mine is a full veil at the back, covering all of the hair, where the veil in my inspiration is one of those that is just a flap, with the back of the hair being covered by the back of the cap. I made myself one once with a black linen coif for the cap, and a stiffened flap-type veil. I didn't love it for some reason, though it looked very like the inspiration image.
      I'm sure you've seen this, but I think she's right on with the layers:

      This article has excellent research too - pretty much agreeing with the first one.
      All makes good sense to me:

  8. Being a 'people from far away' and local gold key, I would be interested in the kit idea. I also do the occasional small school shakespearian costume provision.

    1. Kits are definitely in the longer-term plan. I want to figure out the wrinkles before I go telling others how I think they should do it. I'll need to write a really great instruction sheet with lots of in-process photos.:)