The Florence Files: Recreating a Maria d'Cosimo Outfit, 1555
Recreated by La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia.

I had no problems on the night.

Final touches included a

  • pearl necklace (gift from my mother in law - she is lovely).
  • pearl drop earrings which I made myself some years ago. I had to make clip on ones as
  •  I can no longer have pierced ears.
  • I made a pearl strand with a central pendant with drop pearl.

The basics of this style was a central part, front 'rolls' string of pearls wrapped around possibly a plaited circle and a pendant with a drop pearl.
Next time, I will wear the plaited circle higher. I have fine hair so if I wanted to get 'more hair' for this style, I would have to use a hairpiece. This has been done in different periods, including Italy in the Renaissance. I am still trying to work out how to do the front 'rolls' successfully. I decided not to do the black twisted additions. This would look a little silly on someone my age.
Finally, I really need spectacles to see and often get migraines if I do not. I cannot wear contact lenses. So not wearing spectacles is not really an option. Luckily, in my mundane job, obtaining spectacles is not too difficult. I used an mundanely 'out of date' larger round pair. There is a good 'Complete Anachronist' (number 1 in fact) on Medieval and Renaissance Spectacles. This is available through the SCA.


  • Ricci, Elisa. Old Italian Lace Volume 1. William Heinemann, London. 1913 available on line:
  • Kovesi Killerby, Catherine, Sumptuary Law in Italy 1200-1500, Oxford University Press. NY. 2002. ISBN:0-19-924793-5
  • Piponnier, Francoise & Mane, Perrine Dress in the Middle Ages, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997. ISBN: 0-300-08691-1
  • Crowfoot E, Pritchard F & Staniland K, Textiles and Clothing 1150-1450, Boydell Press, Woodridge, 2001 (ed) ISBN: 0-85115-840-4
  • Arnold, Janet Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd, Maney, Leeds, 1988, ISBN:0-901286-20-6
  • Arnold, Janet Patterns of Fashion, MacMillan, London, 1985. ISBN: 0-333-38284-6
  • Frick, Carole Collier. Dressing Renaissance Florence.: Families Fortunes & Clothing. John Hopkins University Press. Baltimore. 2002. ISBN: 0-8018-6939-0
  • Jones, Ann Rosalind & Stallybrass, Peter. Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory. Cambridge University Press. 2003. ISBN: 0-521-78663-0
  • Oonagh's Own:

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(c). K.Carlisle, 2009.