Brave: Is Disney’s Production Design Accurate?

Costumes worn by the women in Brave are historically accurate. The rich, green worn by Queen Elinor is also similar to the Kinloch tartan.

“The costumes worn by the women in Brave are very historically accurate. The rich, green dress worn by Queen Elinor, Merida’s mother, is a great example of how a woman’s dress reflected her social status and wealth. Elinor’s dress is composed of at least two dress layers: a fitted under layer called a kirtle made of a dark green linen and an over-dress called a surcote made of a flowing silk-like fabric.

Elinor’s dark-green underdress (kirtle) has a fitted bodice with a full floor length skirt and long, fitted sleeves that come to her knuckles. Her over-dress (surcote) has a fitted bodice with buttons up the front, a full skirt with a long train, and flowing sleeves that almost reach the ground. The skirt has a slit up the front that reveals the dark green kirtle underneath.

Surcotes were a huge sign of wealth in the Middle Ages. Fabric was very expensive, especially silk fabric which had to be imported from the East. The large amounts of fabric in the sleeves and train showed that Elinor was definitely part of nobility.

The buttons on the front of her surcote were also a sign of wealth. In addition, Elinor wears a gold-colored metal belt around her waist. Richly made belts were also a sign of wealth and status (Gilbert). Elinor’s hair is very long, almost floor length, and is worn parted in the middle, and wrapped with gold ribbons.

During most of the Middle Ages, married women covered their hair with veils or later elaborate headdresses. However, during the 1100’s after the Norman invasion, there was a short time when women wore their hair parted in the middle and excessively long hair was a common trend (“Jewels, Hair, and Accessories”).”

The Chosen One

–From The Chosen One blog