I'm going to costume a couple of my friends for the play King Richard the III. Both of my friends are guys; I decided against helping out the girls in favour of learning how to costume for a guy. Which is very different from costuming for a girl (although I've found that they're amazingly cooperative - "Stand up, sit down, I need to pin this on you, put your arm up - no, like this...").
So... I've been sketching designs, and after attempting to research the men's clothing of the era (well, not the era - I'm not a big fan of the long surcoat things - but rather after. And not English clothing.), I decided against authenticity. Paintings of the most interesting doublets don't show the whole thing!! And there was a particularly interesting one which was black, and therefore nearly impossible to see, which bothered me no end. This is what the sketch below is based off of; A Young Man, by Francesco Franciabigio. It's not very close though, if you look at the upper righthand corner of my first sketch, you can see my idea of the real thing. I added paned sleeves into my design, just to see what it looks like. Personally I find the body to be very boring and rather clumsy. I probably won't use this design. If you have any ideas as to how this thing comes together, please do tell me them, I would be so grateful!
Another doublet from a painting caught my eye, and this was one worn by Albrecht Durer in one of his self-portraits. I find this doublet to be fascinating, especially the sleeves! Unfortunately, the doublet is half obscured by a cape (DIE, thou cape!!!), and the painting is only from the waist upwards, so I have no clue what to do with the bottom. In my design sketch, I tried two different waist treatments, but left the peplum pretty much the same (peplum sounds like a distinctly feminine word, not to be used with a man's doublet!). On the left is a waistline straight across, and only has one fastening, probably some sort of ornate silver hook and eye. On the right, the waistline slants down, enabling a wider fastening, but rather more dorky in this case. Aren't those sleeves awesome?
I'm also playing with the idea of an arming doublet, although I'm afraid my victims wouldn't survive the stage lights. They would just die. But... arming doublets are so cool! I love the idea behind them, and one can do so much with quilting. I may not be able to, but it's a thought.
And, again, just a thought, but I love alot of landsknecht (did I spell it right?) doublets. I have no clue how they're put together besides wild guesses, but they're so interesting. This doublet was from an engraving of a Speisstrager solder (some sort of infantry, I think. Or not.) and I really could not figure out how it goes together! It seems like way too many layers for anybody to just walking in, much less marching with who knows how much gear. I changed the bottom half in my sketch.
Yes, yes, I know, All of my doublets should probably have less 'peplum' and more tabs, but I rather prefer this look. Like I said, I'm not really going for authenticity, just something that looks cool. ~winces~ That sounded rather bad, but it is sort of the point. Perhaps I shall try tabs sometime... And now, the bottom half of my sketches of paintings (the top half of which is at the top of this post), including the Albrecht Durer doublet/jerkin.