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I have had an epiphany!
RH
kass_rants
Go read about it! (Updated just now. New entry since this morning.)

4:56 pm -- Updated again! Please go have a look and tell me what you think. In the velvet, I think one way looks like the portrait. But add the fur, and I think the other.

On the sleeves, I tried experiementing with things there as well, mainly as I was looking at an even earlier image from the late 1490s where it was clear that the woman's sleeves did not go into an armhole, as there was a distinct fabric pattern that went onto her shoulder area. Now if only they would turn around.

So I draped some muslin, played around with it, did some research, and had the following thoughts before I gave up.

1. Possibly an extension of the "grand assiette" sleeves from the medieval period.
or
2. Possibly the bodice is wrapped around the body as a slightly shaped rectangle. Then the sleeve is "attached" at the top of the body tube in the back, and is shaped into the sleeve. This is what I tried to do, but my skills at draping at that time were non-existent, so I got frustrated and moved onto something else.

I look forward to seeing more of what you are doing.

My husband had a similar idea to your #2. I may try it. But I do think that the back of this gown is more like a "grand assiette" arrangement. More will be revealed in tomorrow's post. =)

Now if only they would turn around.

This

I was looking at my copy of 'Embroideries and Samplers From Islamic Egypt' earlier today, and thinking "Now, if only they would show us the backs of the objects."

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