As the British skyline lit up with fireworks for Guy Fawkes night earlier this week, we turn to the latest adaptation of the Guy Fawkes story as told in the new BBC drama, Gunpowder. Many people outside of Britain might not already be familiar with this yearly celebration, which marks the anniversary of one night in 1605 when a group of provincial Englishmen attempted to blow up the House of Lords and murder King James l.
Luckily for the king, their plan was foiled when one man, Guy Fawkes, was found guarding the mass of explosives hidden beneath the building. Now every year on the 5th of November, this close call is celebrated by lighting up the skyline with the glowing lights of bonfires and fireworks across the UK.
As with any great period drama, this show is dressed to kill. Costumes across the board are complete with ruffs, puffs, tall collars, tight bodices and a plethora of exquisitely detailed, embroidered embellishments that are all typical of 17th century female fashion. The wide-brimmed, buckled hat and heavy cape that Guy Fawkes is often depicted wearing also make their appearances many times in the men’s wardrobe department, along with doublets, breeches and rows upon rows of small buttons.
For those in the UK who will venture out into the dark to watch the skies light up in festivity again next year, make sure to dress warm, keep cosy and divulge in the luxury of modern-day clothes – the likes that many civilians across the UK would never have known on that night in 1605.
To read more about 17th century fashion, order your copy of Selvedge issue 58 here.