Quattrocento avaItalian ladies in the 15th – early 16th century often wore rather curious and comfy dresses called gamurra (camora, zupa, etc – there were many names for this garment in different regions of Italy) and giornea. The most interesting feature of a gamurra is its detachable sleeves and of a giornea – its split sides with the bottom dress peeking from underneath. These dresses are the trademark of the Quattrocento period in European fashion history.

A gamurra is the traditional Italian dress style fashionable in the 15th – early 16th century. It had a high waist, a fitted bodice, a full skirt, and extravagant sleeves, often detachable. This dress was called “gamurra”, “camora”, “camurra”, “zupa”, “zipa”, “socha” – depending on the region of Italy.

Historically, the gamurra probably developed from a dress called “gonna”, “gonnella”, or “sottana”, popular in the 14th century.

A gamurra had opulent sleeves that were often detachable. The style of these sleeves was typically extravagant – they could be equipped with lacing, adorned with cute patterns on the fabric, etc. Sometimes, they were divided into two – the upper sleeve and the foresleeve – and then tied in the middle.


Gamurra and giornea – interesting Italian dress styles in the 15th-16th century


The gamurra was usually worn over a long-sleeved chemise called “camicia”. The gamurra was an informal attire, if a woman wanted to use it as a formal dress, she added an overdress called “giornea” or “cioppa” on top.

The design of a giornea is curious because it is open at the sides and a pretty large part of the bottom gamurra is visible. The overdress is belted high, right beneath the bosom. The giornea usually was made from costly fabrics with fancy patterns.

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