Thursday, 9 May 2013

Catherine Parr's Bow Dress

Rosalie Crutchley depicts Henry VIII's last wife, Catherine Parr, in the movie "Henry VIII and His Six Wives" from 1970. This particular gown of hers is dominated by a moss-green fabric that could be wool. The interesting thing about this dress is the four bows on the bodice - bows were not a common accessory in the Tudor times and almost no surviving paintings features them. The bows are of the same green colour and has been sewn onto a yellow fabric. The sleeves are interesting; the same white wavy shapes appears in the most famous portrait of Jane Seymour. The sleeves are cream coloured with braidings and embroideries of a slightly darker tone
The edge of the gown's sleeve is decorated with a very wide brim of dark brown fur - a sign of wealth. The white chemise is visible at the hands and obviously at the neckline - the neckline of the bodice has been decorated with pearls. Notice the white strips of fabric between the bodice and the sleeves; normally a gown would be sewn together at this particular area which was sometimes "highlighted" by a contrasting colour. Furthermore, "Catherine" is wearing a silver cross pendant along with dark beads that is attached to the back of her neck.

"Catherine" is wearing a gable hood with its characteristic square shape - the frame has been decorated with the same sort of pearls that were used for the bodice. The rest of the hood has been made out of a dark brown fabric.

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