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Dress in Italian Painting, 1460-1500 Hardcover – April 17, 1975
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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Birbari cuts right through to show tons of little details, such as the custom in portraits of *always* letting a little bit of undershirt show atop a doublet's collar. It's true, every portrait I've ever seen does show this, but I'd never noticed it before she pointed it out. She also provides information for telling how pattern pieces are cut, and what sort of fabrics one is looking at in a painting. Sumptuary laws, embroidery vs. woven designs, seam placement, linings, pleating, and more topics are covered. There's even a teeny chapter at the end about not trusting everything you see in a painting.
I would have loved seeing the book be longer, and I'd have loved to have seen technical terms given for the garb discussed. I must admit I don't agree with everything she says, either. But she's mainly writing for the theatre crowd, not necessarily the SCA/re-enactment crowd (which is where I hang out). That explains the book's perceived shortcomings. I still think it's a wonderful reference despite this.
This book is for experienced seamstresses and avid costumers. No real instructions for actual construction are provided (there're a few gridded patterns, but not many), only pointers for interpreting what you're seeing in paintings of the time. It definitely focuses on Florence, though other cities are marginally represented. Also, it is out of print. You can expect it to be hard to find...