This Rubens portrait of Brigida Spinola Doria shows an Italian lady in gorgeous, but probably uncomfortable, dress.
This spectacular Rubens portrait shows what the ruff evolved into. Surviving an Italian summer in such a gown would have been difficult, but it looks magnificent.
The huge ruff is supported by a supportasse that may have originated in
Spain according to Norris, "Tudor Costume and Fashion, p.626 (Dover
re-issue 1997). "It was a circular gold or silver frame fitting the
neck, whence wires or spokes radiated to the circumference. To this was
sewn a narrow fringe in gold, silver, or silk giving a very pleasing
The gown is very similar to some of those
worn by Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia in the Iberian style album and the one worn in the next image by Maria Serra Pallavicino.
Black and Garland gave this overview of the first half of the 1600s in A History of Fashion, p. 134 (1990 ed.) - "The exaggerated high
coiffures which typified the late sixteenth century remained
fashionable for a decade (as shown by this picture - gogm) but changed
well before the other Renaissance fashions..."