THE MOST INSANE THING THAT I HAVE EVER MADE…yet: a study of my 12th Night Houppelande)

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Hi! Welcome to my virtual Athenaeum, 2021 presentation which is primarily video-based. I decided to present much of my Athenaeum entry in this format, because I find I am better able to accurately communicate my thoughts in this manner.

Each image is hyperlinked to a video presentation on YouTube.

We will explore:

  • A Visual Overview of the Well-dressed 15th century man
  • The Origin of the Houppelande
  • The Harigaut (the garment that evolved in to the Houppelande)
  • Defining what a Houppelande is
  • Constructing a Houppelande based on my research
  • The Prague Houppelande
  • The Design and Construction of my Houppelande
  • The use of Fur during this Period

A Visual Overview of the Well-Dressed man of the early 15th Century

In this video walk-thru, we examine the basic layers that a well-dressed man of the early 15th c. would have worn. The elements that I constructed are:

  • Houppelande
  • Chapel-a-bec (bycocket)
  • Chapeau
  • Hood
  • Baldric
  • Braes

The Pourpoint was commissioned, and the joined chauses and chemise are purchased.

The Origin of The Houppelande

In this section, we are going to look at where the Houppelande originated, what it became, and what it evolved in to as the 15th century progressed.

The Harigaut

The Harigaut is a garment that evolves in the 13th century and through the mid-14th century evolves in to the Houppelande

Constructing a Houppelande

Based on Historic evidence from the written record, the visual record, and the extant record I explore my hypothesis on how Houppelandes were constructed

The Prague Houppelande

A deeper dive in to the garment that I used to scale my Houppelande

My 12th Night Houppelande

Let’s spend some time digging in to how I constructed my Houppelande based on the discussion up to this point. In this video I apply everything we have discussed up to this point to the design and construction my 12th Night Houppelande.

Fur in the 14th and 15th centuries

Rather than spend time recreating content due to timing, I am linking to an amazing source for understanding fur during this time period. I highly recommend ALL of Tasha’s research.

A Fur Primer for 14th and 15th Century European Clothing by Tasha Dandelion Kelly

Houppelande Details



Charles in the Media


The Library at

Archeologica Historica 31/06 – The Houppelande of John of Goerlitz by Milena Bravermanova (translated from Czech to English)

Clothing Yourself Accurately in the Court of the Duke: Clothing and Clothing Accessories in the Court of Phillip the Good, 1430-1455. Doctoral Dissertation by Sophie Jolivet, 2009 (757 pages)

Discussions with Dr. Milena Bravermanova, former Head of Textile Conservation at Prague Castle

Preservation notes for the houppeland of Jan Zhorlecky (unpublished) that I photographed with permission on a visit to Prague Castle

Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1323-1515, Anne H. Van Buren and Roger S. Week; The Morgan Library in association with DGiles Ltd, London

The Bibliotech National Francais BnF for 95% of the manuscript images used in this presentation

Woven into the Earth: Textile finds in Norse Greenland, Else Ostergaard, Aarhus University Press, 2004

Links of Interest


Images, sources, consulted research, and conversations have been attributed in-video. If an item is not attributed in-video, that is for one of several reasons:

  • The picture/image belongs to me and I have signed a release for its use
  • The resource has been attributed elsewhere, in a prior video in this presentation
  • Content was created specifically for this display and is covered in the consent/release form
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13 Replies to “THE MOST INSANE THING THAT I HAVE EVER MADE…yet: a study of my 12th Night Houppelande)”

  1. Ive just sourced the materials to start my own Houppelande. I must say your YouTube videos are some of the most concise I could find. I’m rather a fan of a chap called Fiore dei liberi who wrote manuscripts to manuscripts early 1400’s. That’s my inspiration.

    I wonder if you could answer a couple of questions…. How many pieces did each sleeve consist of, and how long were they,? I can guess from pictures, are they the same length as the torso? Also, was the body 8 trapezoids + two little ones under the sleeves? 🙂

  2. I thought this was amazing when I saw it in person, and I continue to think it is amazing – but I also love the video format you’ve done here, especially because it shows people that they don’t HAVE to stick to the ‘encouraged’ format if it doesn’t particularly work for them. I haven’t had time to delve into all of your videos, but I hope to soon – great job!

    1. Thank you! I really struggle with writing long, research and process driven writing assignments. I did this, because we have been discussing accessibility a great deal among several of us in the council: I wanted to show folks that there are other ways of showing off your work and your research – even with my clumsy video editing skills.

      1. *nods* I understand – I’m someone who thrives with written assignments and research, but I flounder so incredibly hard when I teach or present things (though perhaps I’ve gotten better about hiding it), so if the format was supposed to be presentations, or videos, or anything I would be in a tough spot. I can completely understand when someone is on the other side and struggles with the writing thing but is much better with verbal presentations. One of my goals is to work at making documentation easier and ‘less scary’ to people – part of why I offer my research skills and editing/proofreading/brainstorming help to people if they want/need it – and adding in creative options like this is a great alternative. However, video editing is *hard* – I don’t have the patience for anything beyond basic skills! So I admire anyone who can put the effort into that, even if traditional documentation is a struggle.

  3. OMG that miniver! What an eye-catching period way to line those sleeves. Thank you for sharing your design and construction process.
    I have a question. What fur did you use to edge the sleeves and hem?

  4. I’m not sure why my comments don’t show up, but I’ll try again :). Very cool exhibit! I was particularly interested in the silhouette, sleeves and construction details videos and would love to pick your brain about them, houppelande are just too cool. You also mentioned a couple of sources in the videos I’ve had trouble tracking down – I lost my notes from my last comment that my computer ate instead of posting, but I’ll pull them up again before I get a time slot.

  5. WOW! Just…WOW! 😉
    This is a type of garment I have experimented a lot with myself (the women’s version) and I am just blown away by yours! 😉 I would LOVE to talk to you more about some of your construction details, as I have played around with gores and semi-circles, and the one I ended up using for the fancy one I made for Golden Swan was based on the construction of some copes in the V&A that I got to look at in person, but I had some issues with that too (I wish I had known about the Prague artifact!)
    And the image with the guy in the bed – black with gold lions – I had never seen that one before and I love it! 😉
    I also made a Harigaut based on some medical images, but had no idea what it was called, so thanks for that, now I know what to look for 😉
    I kind of got Houpelanded out doing Golden Swan, but now I am re-energised to try some more ideas…THANK YOU (I think…LOL)
    This was awesome reading/watching!

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