The Star-Crossed Lover



Kelly Wruck


(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

My 1490’s Florentine gown is one in a series of what I’m calling “Shakespeare’s Heroines,” made up of designs inspired by my favorite leading ladies in Shakespeare’s plays. This particular gown is my Juliet gown, based on Juliet Capulet from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
I started by researching artwork from the late 15th century, and decided to create both a gamurra (in this case the black gown) and a giornea (in the case the red and gold damask), as inspired by the frescoes of Domenico Ghirlandaio. In addition, I constructed a late 15th century linen shift, known as a camicia, to provide the appropriate volume in the body and sleeves, as well as made all of the accessories seen. I used a silk damask for the giornea, and a contrasting cotton jacquard for the gamurra. Color symbolism was used to represent the themes of Shakespeare’s play. Black for tragedy and mourning, red for love and lust, but also anger and violence, and gold for affluence and prosperity. Excepting the long skirt seams, the entire ensemble was completed by hand.

Outline the construction…

The camicia consists of several rectangles with gussets stitched into the underarms Lace trims with wrist with black ribbons used for ties It has a drawstring neckline to allow variability for future projects I began draping my initial pattern based on the silhouettes observed in my earlier research I noticed that the waistlines in late 15th artwork did not appear as high as they are often depicted in pop culture, so, I extended the waistline down to about the middle of the ribcage While my research suggested lacing either in the center front or on the sides, I placed the closure in the back, using brass lacing rings couched against the center back edge, and lacing cord finished with metal lacing points I cut a V-shape into the bodice front and added faux lacing braided from white silk embroidery floss The bodice is made of three layers The innermost and middle are stitched together to form channels To allow my bust to maintain a sloping shape, I only boned every second channel The black outer layer was stitched over the structured layers, and velvet ribbon was used to trim the bodice The skirts consist of three panels, cartridge pleated, and attached at the waist The laced sleeves were drafted flat from my design, joined at the elbow with gold beads and pearls, and connected to the bodice with velvet ribbon The giornea is made of three pieces of silk damask, pleated to fit the shoulder and finished in red velvet.




  1. Avatar Leora Wambach on March 11, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    The contrast on this dress is just incredible. I would never expect those fabrics to go together and yet, they do, SO WELL!! Likewise, the outfit itself is stunning, so well made, and I feel like I’m looking at the main character from a renaissance romance.

  2. Avatar Emma Wayne on March 12, 2021 at 4:28 am

    I do love grey, I also love orange.
    And here you have put both together so beautifully. Nice job and congrats.

  3. Avatar Stef McKnight on March 12, 2021 at 7:47 am

    Such a vibrant yet classy colour combination. Well done

  4. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 9:11 am

    I LOVED your video- Breathtaking pieces! well done

  5. Avatar Lindsey on March 13, 2021 at 1:57 am

    I am in AWE of this dress!

  6. Avatar Naomi on March 14, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Great job, Kelly! I love how much attention to detail you were able to give with such a short time frame for execution. I love the orange color so much! It makes my heart happy.

  7. Avatar Camille on March 14, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    yes ! yes ! the ghirlandaio vibe is totally nailed, i love the frescoes he made and I think I totally see the one who inspired that awesome sleeve.
    I love this era and your rendition of it is really good ! also I love the contrast between the colors of the gown and of the cape !

  8. Avatar Amanda on March 19, 2021 at 1:22 am

    That orange-gold robe is so very striking! Gorgeous and well done!

  9. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 11:18 am

    So lovely and elegant, well done!

  10. Avatar Andrea Olinte on March 19, 2021 at 5:10 pm


  11. Avatar Alora Fox on March 20, 2021 at 1:13 am

    That color combination is divine!

  12. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 20, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    Love the fabric choices! The black/white main-body goes incredibly well with the orange over-body!

  13. Avatar Amira B. on March 20, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    This is gorgeous! I love it.

  14. Avatar Stephanie Tietze on March 22, 2021 at 9:47 am

    This is stunning. I would love to have an outfit like this…

  15. Avatar Peta Pendlebury on March 22, 2021 at 11:51 am

    I love the grey fabric – so gorgeous and the dress looks so understated next to that stunning top layer. Lovely construction too. I really wanted to slow the video down so I could get a really good look.

  16. Avatar Suzanne Egan on March 23, 2021 at 4:28 am

    Domenico Ghirlandaio is my most favorite of artists, you have taken the inspiration and recreated an beautiful gown. Love the incorporation of Shakespeare’s colours!

  17. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 26, 2021 at 4:27 am

    I absolutely ADORE this! The golden fabric against the grey is so striking and the shape of the bodice and sleeves are just perfect! I can’t believe you also made all the accessories and presented everything so beautifully, so so stunning! Seeing this wonderful creation makes me excited to see your other Shakespeare inspired dresses too!

  18. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 27, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    I LOOVE this whole outfit! Absolutely gorgerous, from camicia to giornea!

  19. Avatar Kat Cuseo on March 30, 2021 at 3:49 am

    Beautiful! I absolutely love the colors you chose for this!

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