Always intrigued by the Renaissance world, Eleanor (Nori) Pierachini adopted the Renaissance Faire persona of Eleanor of Austria, b. 1498 , Archduchess of the House of Hapsburg. As a child Eleanor was considered as a bride for Henry VIII of England, but the betrothal didn't come off. At age 20 Eleanor wed King Manual I of Portugal, aged 49, bore him 2 children and served as his Queen until his death (of the the Plague) only 3 years later. She later wed King Francis I of France and was Queen of that county until she again became a dowager upon King Francis's death. She spent the rest of her life until her death at age 59, serving her brother, Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, the most powerful head of state on the Continent. In researching the very interesting life of this twice Dowager Queen, Nori became intrigued by the more varied styles of Court dress on the Continent as compared to the more insular England. This manifest itself in Nori's desire to make herself a Renaissance Faire costume. Soon she had 2 gowns, then 3, two more on the dress forms, and many more still in her head.

Thus was born this line of exclusive, limited, authentic line of original period gowns. I use the finest fabrics and trims lavishly to design gowns depicting that of the Courts of Europe and England. I have over 30 books on costuming of the 16th period, and of course access to limitless info online. Most gowns are created from a picture of a gown of the era, and I deviate from these pictorial records only in practical matters such as comfort and improved modern construction techniques.

The Dower Queen Booth

Nori is a trained professional artist. A sculptor, painter and designer, she also has 65 years of sewing experience, plus a lifelong interest in history to bring to creating her gowns. Retired, she works 4-5 hours 5-6 days a week, plus countless hours researching and sourcing fabrics and trims on the internet and in her own large library of period costuming. "It's a very active retirement," Nori 73, admits, then she smiles and adds "but it keeps me off the streets and out of the bars."

Nori lives in Northern California with her two Irish Setters and a very pudgy cat with a definite 'calicocattitude'.