The crossbow marksmen of the Ste. Barbelen guild wear Renaissance costumes. This period, mostly ignored in historical and guild pageants, is situated in the early 16th century between the Burgundy and Spanish periods. The marksmen chose the costumes of the richer artisans, Lords of the manor (Masters), so to speak the tradesmen of the flourishing university city because the original members of the guild belonged to this class.
In order to reconstruct the costumes we based ourselves on the paintings of the city painter of Leuven, Jan Van Rillaer, who depicted the rich middle class of his city with great eye for detail.
The freewomen of the guild wear a long gown of mostly shiny fabric. The low neckline, typical for the renaissance, is kept up by a chain and is square at the front and deeply cut ending in a wedge at the back. Sleeves and hats vary according to the tastes of the then already very fashion conscious ladies. Married women only wear large round hats with ostrich feathers.
For the freemen of the guild their sturdy masculinity is emphasised by the forward projected, richly adorned loincloth. At large events, such as pageants, the men wear their insignia of wealth and riches: a short or long sword and a pouch with a silver lock. The "pommerande" is worn to disguise nasty odours.
The freemen of the guild also wear the "koeienmuilen" (cows' muzzles), very fashionable at that time but less elegant, leather shoes with a broad nose. As is the case with an actual guild, it is not inconceivable to see the freemen of the guild with a (filled) stone or pewter pot. And, as is customary at guilds where fun is of the essence, the gentlemen may dare to invite a lady for a little renaissance dance. This being an excellent opportunity to get better acquainted or to set up secret adulterous meetings.