Three Early 15th c. Bourrelet Headdresses [Best Documentation]

I researched the bourrelet, the padded roll headdress worn primarily by French and Italian noblewomen c. 1400-1460. I looked into evidence of fashion influence from other cultures, primarily Mamluk, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Using artwork for evidence, I traced the stylistic changes of the headdress over the decades. I list some possible headdress materials from 15th French accounts of expenses, and from a French poem I translated. I made three bourrelets, each with a different construction, with photos.

14 Responses

  1. Phyllis Doherty

    This looks as if it should be in a museum showcase. What incredibly beautiful and detailed work!!

  2. S

    Outstanding work, and impressive research!

  3. Joan Melnychuk

    What exquisite work! Your exacting professional documentation paired with artistic passion produced perfection.

  4. Madoc Arundel

    Good morning Lady Ilaria. I want to let you know that I enjoyed reading your documentation so much that I read it three times just to be certain that I understood everything correctly. It is very well done, and your used of imagery is very well appointed. I also appreciate very much the inclusion of photos of your project while still “in the works.” That let’s me see visually what you are talking about in text, which in turn gives me a much better understanding of your processes.

    As to the actual pieces, my knowledge of millinery is sparse at best, and I will leave those specifics to others who are much more educated than I. I will, however, add that I was impressed by the level of research that I believe led to your finished documentation (and ultimately to your finished pieces.) I found it to be thorough – especially given that extant pieces are rare to non-existent – and well presented. Coupled with the extensive use of imagery, I was able to follow both the processes and the adherence to period style throughout the reading of your documentation. I believe that helped me to have a much better appreciation for your finished works, as I could appreciate the ‘invisible’ detail work you did on the parts that are not seen when the headdress is being worn.

    Overall, this is beautiful work, it appears well documented, and I look forward to seeing more of your costuming in the future.

  5. Matilda Bosvyle

    I’m so impressed! These headpieces are gorgeous! Your (well organized) documentation shows the depth of your research, with excellent sources and pictures. I especially enjoyed your inclusion and translation of the ballad as it provided insight not just to possible period construction, but also to contemporary cultural attitudes toward fashion. You use very close to period materials whenever possible or practical in your construction, but of equal importance, you pay close attention to shape, form and proportion; as a result you have created head pieces that truly embrace the medieval aesthetic we’re looking for. Having taken a stab at millinery work myself, I appreciate the innovation and flexibility you demonstrate to problem solve on the sculptural level. Your wonderful skill and creativity is on full display, and you should be very proud of your work!

    • Ilaria of Delftwood

      Thank you! Millinery is an interesting puzzle, isn’t it?

  6. Alexis

    Exquisitely made with such great attention to shape and silhouette! With your attention to detail you have created something truly authentically medieval in appearance. Excellently researched!

  7. Katja

    Wowsers, these head adornments are sumptuous! I wear 16th century Ottoman Turkish, so I recognized some of the influences you mentioned in your very well-written and interesting documentation. I’ve made a few simple tarpus (Turkish pillbox hats), so I can appreciate that what you create is far more complex and challenging. Your documentation was clear, easy to follow for someone not an expert in your area, and you explained steps and techniques quite well. I appreciated all the clear photos detailing the work. the sewing and construction of the hats themselves look very clean, straight, and smooth. Very nicely done!
    Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina, OP, OL, CB, Thescorre

    • Ilaria

      Thank you! I am very interested to learn about the tarpus, because I think it is particularly an influence on the turrets/truncated hennins of the 1470s.

  8. Queen Liadain

    Very impressed by this project and now also a fan of threes! I deeply appreciate your incredible efforts to create and document your process. I do hope I may have the opportunity to see these in person at some point soon. Well done!