My given name is Tasha Dandelion Kelly. (Yes, Dandelion!) I live in Illinois with my son and my fiancé, though I hail originally from Philadelphia.
I discovered the joy of reverse-engineering medieval clothing in 1998. In some form or another, this passion has persisted and continues to exist digitally as La cotte simple. I started the site in 2003, putting my experience as a technical writer to work for my creative passion.
In 2010 I applied for the Janet Arnold Award, which provides funds to independent scholars for hands-on research of extant historical garments. I contacted the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Chartres, France and received permission to take the pourpoint of Charles VI off its mannequin to record its cut and construction. I undertook this study on July 1, 2011 and with the resulting data, wrote a paper (published in Waffen- und Kostümkunde in the 2013/2 edition) and recreated the garment.
In the fall of 2012, I decided to overhaul this site and add a blog as well as other new pages to make it more of an active stop for like-minded students of historical clothing. Nothing quite scratches all my creative and intellectual itches like the study of medieval fashion history. I have never followed the crowd when choosing my interests, and I take special pleasure in leading others into new avenues of inquiry through my writings, diagrams, and photos. I love to hear from readers, so feel free to drop me a line by email or through my Facebook page.
My CV is available upon request for serious inquiries concerning guest speaking/teaching.