Cagin’s Ardma Gown

Cagin’s Ardma dress is a project I have been working on since April of 2012.  It has stayed on the dress form all the while, leering at me.  I consider this a rough prototype. I did the dress in stages and I let the it be a pallet for any design ideas that would come to me.   Several months later,  I had a finished gown. 

Cagin's "Ardma" Gown

I named this Cagin’s Ardma gown because the action leads her to go to study in the great monastic city and capitol of Nua Marcail.  It is home to the high king of whom she serves.  By the time she is wearing this gown, she is already Chieftess of a new Chrysaint, one nation where  Chrysaintians and Garlachs live in peace once again.  The belt beares the symbol of the Garlach people, a Celtic swan and the Chrysaintian sigil of the marigold- a flower that grows in Chrysaint’s Marcail Fields.  The embroidery has many flowers in it, one of which is in the shape of a Trinity, which shows her devotoin to her faith.  She is wearing a deep green to symbolize the fields becoming green again after a year of drought. It also symbolizes Cagin’s rebirth of being both a queen and soon to-be-wife.  This gown is far more ornate than many of her other gowns.  As such, she wears this gown in Ardma, when many festivities require her to look her most regal. 

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The neckline contains hand embroidered Trinity shaped flowers with in metallic silver colored embroidery thread. The silver glass beads create the stems and leaves and fill in the center. Pearl beads create the center of the flowers. In the middle are eye catching pearl buttons that extend all the way down the bodice.

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The faux chemise matches the silver detachable foresleeves. This allows the appearance of an underdress so the wearer is not required to wear another layer, especially in hot weather.

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Close up of belt chain and gothic cross.

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This is based on a 12th century belt called a girdle. The belt can be expanded or tightened by a chain. At the end of the chain, hangs a silver ornate cross.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The dress pictured in an early stage. The silhoutte appears to be very slim but the gores in the center and sides of the skirt act like pleats, allowing the skirt to bellow and flare as she moves.

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The back laces up to allow the wearer to get the best fit possible. Historically, these gowns were made of linen or cotton so it would stretch a little, allowing a person to pull it over their head. If they wanted it tighter, they lace up on both sides. The back gore is shown, to show how much the skirt expands during movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In June of 2013, I added a silver corset with boning. It is modeled after the Bilaut  hip belt. It is sometimes called a stomacher or corsage. It was the early style corset but had no boning. It was usually made of silk. It creates a contrast, creating  the illusion of sliming the waist.

Actress Carrie Leigh Harris (Cagin) wears the completed dress, belt and corset with out the undersleeves for a summer showing of Cagin of Chrysaint.

Actress Carrie Leigh Harris (Cagin) wears the completed dress, belt, and corset without the undersleeves for a summer showing of Cagin of Chrysaint.

Actress Carrie Leigh Harris and actor Dunlap Peeples IV at a Cagin of Chrysaint screening at Kings Arrow Ranch June 29, 2013.

Actress Carrie Leigh Harris and actor Dunlap Peeples IV at a Cagin of Chrysaint screening at Kings Arrow Ranch June 29, 2013.

All Photos by Dana Elise