A lot of times Anne and other Queens & ladies of Renaissance Europe celebrated masquerades and pageants, dressing as godesses, nymphs, mermaids, gorgons and other mythological beasts... How did these outfits look? Would these costumes be very diferent from the usual court dresses?
While court masques were a popular entertainment during Henry VIII’s reign (and before), they really hit their stride during Elizabeth’s reign and those of the Stuarts. This account describes the costumes of the famous 1522 Chateau Vert pageant: the men wore “clothe of golde cappes […] and great mantell clokes of blewe Sattin” and were led by the figure of Ardent Desire, dressed in “Crymosyn Sattin wyth burninge flames of golde” (pg. 30). The women, at least those who guarded the Virtues in the castle, had “‘Scorn’ and other shrewish names embroidered on their gowns” (pg. 30). To me this sounds expensive in terms of material, but not radically different from the kinds of clothes courtiers would have been wearing anyway.
Then we get to the Elizabethan and Jacobean masques. A 1604 masque titled The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses got its costumes from the wardrobe of the recently-deceased Elizabeth herself, although they may have been “restyled” to better resemble Classical clothing (pg. 228). The Masque of Blackness in 1605 starred Queen Anne and several noblewomen in costumes of “azure […] siluer…[and] sea-greene, waued about the skirts with gold and siluer”, which were apparently “too light and Curtizan-like” according to one observer (228). The “courtesan” sentiment kinda reminds me of something like this.
Costuming masques became more and more expensive, and there are records of costumes for everything from Greek gods and goddesses, to “fairy knights”, to ancient Roman “parade armor”, all made of “rich fabrics adorned with jewels” (227, 229). What’s really awesome about these later masques is that we actually have a lot of surviving costume designs for them! I can’t imagine how awesome these must have looked in person.
Finally, a fun little note: apparently wearing black paint on one’s face was considered an alternative to wearing an actual mask during, well, a masque. Henry VIII and His Six Wives used this to pretty creepy effect in this scene, where Anne Boleyn participates in an inaccurately timed but still cool masque - and yes, the dancing did get that elaborate!