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Photos from 1998's Faire

These are from the Final Weekend of the 1998 Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California. Again, these were chosen to give you an idea about cotume construction and accessorizing.

I focused a bit on the Celts this year, in goodly part due to my own fascination with the various Celtic cultures, especially those of my ancestral Spain (Father's side) and Britain (Mother's side.) The rest of my interest was due to the young deaf man I had brought to the faire, who kept asking about Scottish and Irish clothing so he could dress for the faire next year.

The kilt, as far as I have been able to discern, was developed at about the time of the Renaissance. It was simply a very long, wool blanket (at least nine yards of fabric) that the wearer would put on by laying it out on the hillside, with his belt underneath it, pleating either the length or the width of the blanket (dependig on how big the lad was,) then lie down on it, pull the free ends over his hips, then fasten the belt to hold it in place. Then he would stand up and adjust the hem of the skirt to bisect his knees, and arrange the fabric above the belt in a comfortable or stylish manner.

As you will see in further photos, the easiest way to arrange that extra fabric, the plaid, was to simply let it hang down in back. The women are wearing the basic leine, plus top skirts and bodices or corsets. As noted elsewhere in my various pages, the leine was THE garment worn by both men and women in Erin or Alba until the kilt became a distinguishing feature of the Scots. Now, the nobles would have been influenced by the fashions of mainland Europe just as Sassenach nobles were, so the kilt was middle class garb, though the leine was still the norm during the Renaissance.

Here again we see the celtic woman's garb: a long, bodiced dress that was drawn up to the ankles or the knees and tied around the waist (that's what makes the dress bunch up around her waist,) with a chemise underneath, petticoats 'neath that. And look at those hose! The dress recalls a woman's leine, and would have been made of linen, though we can find muslin more easily today. There are instructions on the construction of a leine on the Net here.
Notice the man clapping along in the background of this picture. He looks to be wearing a leine, drawn high enough to be hidden by a kilt, with the saffron sleeves of the leine hanging out of the partly closed sleeves of the ( ionar. Quite the blending of old and new fashions. For a better look at an ionar, look at the lad to the far left, in the blue kilt. His grey ionar is a very clear model for you to build your own upon. In fact, this lad's garb was so good a basic model for kilt wearing, I tried to get a few more shots of him from different angles (I'm sure he thought I was some sort of FREAK, a big FAT man in green and yellow pointing an SLR with telephoto lens at him.:-)

And again, the young lass there in the middle as a splendid model of the woman's clothing. Take note of the vegetable dyed colors of her dress and skirts. This shows that simple, natural dyes do not have to be dull.


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