Leyden Variation – High Front

This was probably a very simple, practical style. The pilgrim woman is dressed very sensibly, long coif, sunhat and high dress. The second woman, from “The Passion” is peripheral to the main action so she is not entirely ruled out on an allegorical basis. The pleats on her skirt are interesting as this is the only evidence I have seen of pleating through the front of the Leyden skirt, most often we are given a flat front with a full skirt. She also has some bunching across the stomach area, which could be a result of her slumped posture, but is also a relief for costumers as these lines are usually not shown and so it is nice to get a confirmation of their existence.

The third woman, the Virgin, is probably not a reliable example. The onlt other buttoned front dress I have seen is in an engraving of St. Anne, the mother of Mary, and so I think the buttoned front is symbolic rather than real.