Welcome to Guardaroba Fiore!
This site is dedicated to the life, material goods, and context of Fiore Leonetta Bardi.
What will you find here?
A lot of project diaries for things I have made but most importantly how they relate to my persona. Posts are named for the focus of each entry and are typically listed in Italian (with English in Parenthesis when needed). There are subcategories if you are searching for something specific. I am working on adding more of the persona research but for the moment it is very clothing focused on the blog.
I love making things for Fiore in as historically appropriate a way as possible. There are actually three of me present here. The tailor who makes the clothing to suit Fiore’s life, Fiore herself, and the historian observing both through a modern lens. Still, for me the point is Fiore, the woman, and her experience living in her circumstances. Dresses are made for occasions, items because a woman of her standing would have them. Skills are acquired as needed for her station: dancing, target archery skill, and learning a noble hand among other things. More of those things will be documented here soon but for the moment enjoy what’s here.
Why this project?
My training and first career was as a professional opera singer. Opera was born in Florence, in large part because of the efforts of Giovanni Bardi. Bardi hosted a gathering of intellectuals at his home where they studied the philosophy and art of ancient Greece. When I sought to create a persona for myself, it was clear she needed to be in that room, at that time. An oddity of history is that Giovanni Bardi’s son had his father’s personal papers destroyed obscuring anything unrelated to his life as director of the Florentine Camerata (as the gathering came to be called). For this reason, there is no documentable proof that any illegitimate children existed, or didn’t. It is into that gap that I have written in a daughter of this house, born and raised to adulthood before the legitimate children were a gleam in Giovanni’s eye.
It was not enough to find a time and place, I also needed to fully form a human being with goals and complexities. I started with the one person I know best, myself. I am from the Dominican Republic of African, Spanish, and French descent for certain with a possible Persian ancestor. There were Africans all over Renaissance Europe in every social strata. In fact, Alessandro dei Medici, Duke of Florence, was himself of African descent. I had a curiosity about the realities of life for people of this lineage in Florence. I am also curious about social status, the effects of gender and wealth on day to day life and of course, about illegitimacy as this is the path I selected for my persona. It was a good foundation and from it all of my projects flow.
I hope you enjoy your visit to my guardaroba. The word means closet but also records. It is a place to keep that which must be recorded.