The Medieval period in Europe roughly spanned the time covering the 11th through 13th Century. While fashion did change over time, and differed among countries and regions, a person’s social standing determined a lot about ‘one’s’ wardrobe. The common or lower standing people would naturally have few clothes due their financial status and their clothes were much simpler than the upper classes. A discussion of all the facets of class-based fashion is too large a topic to cover here, but, in general, ‘common women’’s dresses were long and simple. They were sometimes made from animal hyde and would likely be dyed a single color. The hair of the lower classes would have been long and loose or tied back in tight braids. Those of a slightly higher standing would have had more detailed fabrics with some brocading and simple sleeve adornments. The complexity and detail of the gown increased with class and social standing. For this first part on Medieval fashion I am presenting some examples of common dresses as interpreted by a couple of Second Life’s designers.
When I first decided to do an entry on Medieval fashions I knew there was some available, but it turns out that there are many designers in this area. The two presented here both have a range of designs covering the social ladder and are considered some of the best and most authentic. Pictured below are a couple from Morgaine Hathor of *M*.
On the left is Boleyn in Red, a dress that would of been of moderate standing. The full prim skirt is two-toned and has a brocaded front panel. Each arm has three prim adornment poofs and the waist has a prim cowling. This dress is also available in blue, purple and olive. On the right is Min in Onyx, this is a simple dress with a tunic. There is a small amount of detailing on the hem of the prim skirt and the tunic has some brocade detail. The prim shoulders add more fullness and dimension to the top. Min can also be purchased with a forest, navy or brown tunic. Although these are simple designs, the textures are wonderful and the prim skirts flow beautifully. The styling also tends towards the authentic.
Next, we see two common dresses from Gypsy Tears designed by Gypsy Tripsa. Ember, seen on the left, is a highly detailed velvet dress. The prim skirt texture gives the appearance of multiple layers and the bodice is tied at the front. Flexible prim sleeves and lace cuffs adorn the arms. Also included, are leggings and a black lace camisole for the underwear layer. On the right, is Chemise in White, a dress with two beautiful prim skirt choices and two different tunics. It is shown here with the leather tunic and petal skirt. The alternate tunic is buckskin and the other skirt is layered white lace. Each arm has a two part prim puffed sleeve and the bodice has prim ruffles at the top. Gypsy is well known for her beautiful textures among the medieval crowd, and you can see why, even on these common designs.
The Medieval community is a large and active one within Second Life and there are many designers contributing their work to their experience. Morgaine and Gypsy are two of the best and their creations add wonderful detail and vibrancy to the experience. Many of the people in the various RP sims, like Medieval England, where these photos were taken, appreciate and wear these fashions. Watch for my next period post in which I will be showing examples of upper class dresses. These two designers are likely to appear again.