I am involved in a historical recreation group, and as such I ended up looking at making a cotehardie. Cotehardies were the height of fashion in the 1300's, and are usually what people think of as a Medieval princess' dress. To make a nice big flowing skirt, you add triangles of fabric called 'gores'. Now, one of the things I have been told is that making the gores a contrasting color to the rest of the dress just wasn't historically accurate. "Wrong, wrong, wrong!" is what I've read.
But...it is pretty! And I like it. And I'm stubborn, so I kept looking for documentation that perhaps sometime folks did this contrasting gores thing.
This evening I was wandering through the book, "Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince" by Newton, and stumbled across the following pictures:
And that last one reminded me of a line drawing from the book "Dress Accessories", from the Museum of London.
I'm thinking I'll make my cotehardie with contrasting gores, and feel pretty safe in the knowledge that it is perhaps plausible after all.
Edit: Also Figure 70 on this page: http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft8k4008jd&chunk.id=d0e3511&toc.id=d0e3511&brand=ucpress
Edit again: I tracked down the picture that the last line drawing was based on, and this is why you don't trust line drawings. Take a look: http://vieuxchamps.com/persona/enlarged/wg/wpic3.php . The figure on the right does not have contrasting gores after all. The artist who did the line drawing was, I think, not looking closely. This image does, however, show the variety of patterned fabrics that could be used.