Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Borgia's Window Display in LA...or, What do Anne Boleyn and Lucrezia Borgia have in Common?

Dear Valued Readers,

I have recently been getting a lot of emails concerning different educational and PR related opportunities for Elizabeth I and BeingBess Blog. These recent developments are exciting beyond words! To know that my efforts are in some small way increasing interest in Elizabeth I and her era is nothing less than a dream come true!

One of these opportunities I want to share with you today: Although this blog is dedicated to Elizabeth I, I am a lover of all things pertaining to European history, and the Borgia's are no exception. Lucrezia Borgia, like Anne Boleyn, is one of the most misunderstood, and wrongly maligned female figures of history. 

A detail of St. Catherine of Alexandria,. The model for this painting by Pinturicchio, made c. 1492-1494, is generally accepted by scholars to have been Lucrezia Borgia. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

A miniature of Anne Boleyn, thought to be around age 25, by Hoskins. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

An employee of an Atlanta, GA based social media agency, Everywhere, read an article about my Elizabeth I programs and our Women in Armor Month programs that run every March at the museum where I work.  She contacted me regarding a new Borgia-themed window display at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles CA, running through April 15th.

If any of my readers are from LA, or traveling there before the 15th, you should check OUT this stunning display, configured to promote Season Two of The Borgia's on Showtime, premiering on April 8th 10 P.M ET/PT.

Below is the link for details on the display:


If any of my readers view the display firsthand, please leave a comment of your reaction, and share a photo or two of yourself standing in front of it! I would love to see it!




  1. The mystery around Lucrezia Borgia and Elizabeth is so intriguing! Love the post!

  2. Wow who knew that there were connections between Lucrezia Borgia & Anne Boleyn. Thank you for sharing! I love the video of you in the museum. Very cool! How did you make your dress?

  3. Marleisse, thank you for calling the dislay to my attention and for promoting this site!

    Britton, I am glad you liked the post! Thank you for viewing the video-I am very pleased with how it came out!

    To answer your question, my dress was constructed using the historically acurate patterns of Margo Anderson (it is very difficult to find accurate Tudor/Elizabethan patterns based off of actual existant garments, and Anderson offers some of the few.)

    I designed the dress based off of the scant references we have as to what Queen Elizabeth wore during her visit to Tilbury in August of 1588.

    My mother is a master seamstress who made my research and vision come to life-I am indebted to her for the actual sewing. Can you believe she free-formed the Pelican in Her Piety emblem on the doublet? I wanted to have this famous emblem of Elizabeth's as an insgnia on the doublet, and she made it happen!

    I have also designed a "Privy Council" dress, a "State Occassion" dress and a "Masque Dress" using the Margo Anderson patterns and portraits of Elizabeth I. I guess you could say they are in "pre-production"!

    One of them will be put into production this summer, and its construction will be chronicled on my costuming page (please see the top menu bar)so please keep checking back to see the creation unfold!

    Margo Anderson's pattern site:


    If you do not sew, or do not have someone in your family who can sew for you, I recommend the following:

    Historically Accurate Costumer Ninya Mikhaila


    and her store:


    And for more affordable options, available in a variety of "levels" of accuracy, I suggest Heather Piper, The Very Merry Seamstress


    And for patterns for other periods, Reconstructing History is good, too; several of us in the Education department where I work use them, but unless you are an experienced tailor/seamstress, their patterns can be a bit frustrating:


    I hope that helps!


  4. Thank you so much! Methinks I need to check these out and see if anything strikes my fancy. :) I appreciate your response. Good Day!