Five things still makes a post

Working Title/Artist: Nushirvan Eating Food Brought by the Sons of Mahbud: Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings)Department: Islamic ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 1330s photography by mma, Digital File DP215674.tif retouched by film and media (jn) 9_28_15
Mongol garb!
  1. Mongol garb is awesome.
  2. But it’s the ultimate cold-weather garb.
  3. It’s been 90 degrees* for somewhere between one week and eighty-seven months, or possibly forever OMGGGGGG. The exact timeframe depends on how much input my inner 13-year-old is allowed.
  4. Having failed at T-tunics, Viking, Ottoman Turkish, and Mongol, the time has come for me to set my sights on a higher goal. Yes, it’s time for me to fail at Tudor.
  5. Once I figure out what Tudor is. There’s a chemise on the bottom and a gown on the top, and in the middle is a corset/pair of bodies, which might be on its own or might always be a separate garment or might be part of a petticoat which might be a visible garment or an undergarment or maybe it goes under the kirtle which might be boned or might be the petticoat under a different name and sometimes there’s just a jacket but aaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh. Basically, people looked back on 1500 years of chemise, underdress, overdress and said, “We’ve got loads of sartorial credit in the bank, let’s spend it all. Right. Now.” Layers multiplied so quickly and fashions changed so rapidly that terminology didn’t keep up, and later scholars had to repurpose words in ways the garments’ contemporaries never intended, leading to the equivalent of hair-pulling fights over ladies’ inventories. It’s glorious, as are all historical disciplines that involve slap-fighting,** but it doesn’t lead to quick and easy reconstruction, unless you want to fail a lot. And while I fully expect in going into this enterprise that I will fail, there are ways in which I’m willing to fail and ways in which I’m not. Wearing my skivvies in public is a way in which I am not.

 

* Fahrenheit. Equivalent: 383 degrees Celsius.

** Egyptology, for instance. It’s impossible to evaluate a find until you know who found it and who they were quarreling with at the time. If there was any reconstruction involved, you also have to know who reconstructed it, who they were quarreling with at the time, and how long they were left unsupervised with the artifact. This is, I’m afraid, not a joke.

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