Robin Netherton to Lecture in Seattle, WA

Ms. Robin Netherton, an internationally known lecturer specializing the costume of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, will present a one-day lecture series on Western European women's clothing in the 14th and 15th centuries in the Seattle, Washington area on August 9th. The Netherton Lectures
A one-day lecture series for costumers interested in Western European women's clothing in the 14th and 15th centuries

Saturday, August 9, 2003
Woodinville, Washington

Lectures scheduled for this event are:

Includes two lectures:

The Gothic Fitted Dress:
The fitted fashion popular throughout much of Europe in the late 14th century and early 15th century has been the object of much speculation, regarding such matters as who wore it, how it was made, and even what it was called. (The term "cotehardie," often applied to this style, was most likely not the term used by the women who wore it.) A detailed analysis shows the various versions and uses of this style, how it evolved from earlier unfitted fashions, and how it formed the basis for the development of the more structured fashions of the 15th and 16th centuries. The lecture examines some likely construction techniques as well as the social significance of the fashion and its presentation in artwork.

The Greenland Gored Gown:
Costume references frequently cite the garment finds from the 14th-century cemetery at Herjolfsnes, Greenland, as examples of medieval European clothing construction. This lecture re-examines some common assumptions about these gowns in light of overlooked details in the original study report, the cultural context of the Greenland colony, and the likely methods of clothing construction used by the Greenlanders. The discussion gives special attention to the oft-cited "10-gore" gown and how it might influence our understanding of 14th-century European fashion.

Includes two lectures:

Will the Real Sideless Surcote Please Stand Up?:
Common wisdom holds that the sideless surcote was a popular female fashion of the late 14th century and much of the 15th century in England, France, and Flanders. Looking closely at the artwork that portrays this fashion, though, we can trace several distinct stages in the development and use of the style and its implications for the wearer. A slide lecture will show how to distinguish between the surcote's uses as a real garment and as a symbolic device in artwork, with special attention to practical issues of construction.

The 15th-Century V-Neck Gown:
The so-called "Burgundian" style that dominates much of 15th-century fashion in Western Europe is in fact two separate styles, which have distinctive characteristics and are apparently constructed in two completely different ways. An examination of artwork over the course of the century demonstrates the differences and provides clues as to how the two styles developed and the ways in which they may have been made.


Medieval saints' images can be the source of many interesting costume details -- and also a source of confusion and error. An understanding of various saints' stories and symbols can help researchers to locate and interpret useful information and to distinguish realistic depictions from invented ones. A broad selection of slides features such famous medieval fashion models as Catherine, Christopher, Francis, Jerome, Mary Magdalene, Sebastian, Ursula, and Wilgefortis.

About our presenter:

Robin Netherton is an independent scholar specializing in costume of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Since 1982, she has given lectures and workshops for academic audiences, historical societies, reenactment groups, and writers' organizations, both on practical aspects of period costume and on costume as an approach to social history, art history, and literature. Her research focuses on the development of the cut of Western European clothing in the 12th through 15th centuries, and also on the depiction and interpretation of clothing by artists and historians, both medieval and modern. Ms. Netherton studied journalism and medieval English literature at the University of Missouri and did graduate work in manuscript studies and book arts at Cornell University and the University of Iowa. To support her academic habit, she works as a freelance editor and writer.


Cost: The cost for this fabulous one-day lecture series is $30 USD per person.

Registration: Attendance is limited. To register for this event, please send your name, address, phone number, and email address, along with pre-payment of $30 to:

Colleen L. McDonald 401 Pine St #203 Edmonds, WA 98020

Please mark the envelope with "Netherton Lectures" in the lower right hand corner. Please make checks payable to Colleen L. McDonald. Pre-payment is required for registration.

Other details: Since Ms. Netherton is planning to publish her work for an academic audience, no audio or video taping of the lectures will be permitted.

Questions? Please email colleen.mcdonald(At) for further information.

This will be Ms. Netherton's first trip to the Pacific Northwest to share her knowledge and research with local costumers, so mark your calendar and register now!

This event is not sponsored by the Society for Creative Anachronism, nor any of its local branches.