The costume of Queen Matilda's granddaughter and namesake from the late twelfth century is shown on the right. She was the daughter of Henry I and fought her cousin Stephen for the English crown during a period known as the Anarchy. Her outermost garment is the bliaut, fashioned from silk and dyed in varying colors. The most noticeable difference is the addition of voluminous sleeves, fitting closer at the shoulder before widening to the wrists. The bliaut also has a wider skirt with many folds. This one is also lined inside with a green material. A billowing red mantle falls around the shoulders and back. A sleeveless corsage over the bliaut seems to have gold or jewels on its surface. Another change is the visible hair in an elaborate style of nearly floor-length braids bound in gold ribbon. The girdle of previous decades remains, but the veil is no longer strictly white. Fashionable Anglo-Norman women also enhanced their costumes with brooches, fastenings for their mantles and girdles ornamented with pearls, gold and silver, precious gemstones and enamels. One standard remained the same no matter the decade. Women always wore long garments covering them from neck to ankles.
Lisa J. Yarde writes fiction inspired by real-life events. She is the author of historical novels set in medieval England and Normandy, The Burning Candle,based on the life of Isabel de Vermandois, and On Falcon's Wings, chronicling the star-crossed romance between Norman and Saxon lovers. Lisa has also written Sultana and Sultana’s Legacy, novels set during a turbulent period of thirteenth century Spain,where rivalries and ambitions threaten the fragile bonds between members of a powerful family.