fashion through history

features historical costumes from ancient world to modern age.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Renaissance fashion

Renaissance fashion and costumes mirrored the advancing culture, as increasing trade made more clothing materials available. Nobility dressed themselves in elaborate and brightly colored robes, gowns and other vestments. The upper class reserved silk for themselves, and in some areas, peasants were forbidden to possess it. Embroidery of gold and silver thread would be sewn to form fanciful designs depicting scences from legends, nature or religion. Those living during the Renaissance would adorn themselves in jewelry, furs, and elaborate belts. Wigs crafted from peasant's hair was also very popular.
In the city states of Italy, which had become rich and powerful through international trade, among the remnants of Greek and Roman antiquity, this new beginning first set in. While Norther nEurope was still under Gothic influence, Michelangelo already created works that had nothing to do with the Middle Ages anymore. The Italian Early Renaissance begins as early as the late 14th century.
Italy at that time owned a monopoly in fabric and had, owing to its trade connections with the orient, access to silk and other fabrics of a fineness as yet unknown. People wore gold and silver brocades, velvet and silk, embroidered fabrics and fur.
The colour restrictions of the Middle Ages were almost completely lifted. Personal preference became more important than conformity. Of course it should not be forgotten that all this was only true for the upper crust.
For ladies, too, a new era dawned. Clothing became much more permissive; one could not only exhibit arms and ears again, but even a low neckline. Instead of covering the head with hoods, they styled their hair carefully and sometimes even bleached it. Make-up was another Renaissance novelty. As for men, fabrics became richer and heavier, while less of it was put into trains and sleeves.
The renaissance also brough about new patterns and ways of wearing clothes. The Burgundian fashion of wearing hose prevailed for men (but they developed into stocking trousers over time), together with a laced doublet and a voluminous cape, the zimarra. Hat fashion, however, became ever more important even for men.
In Northern Europe, Renaissance sets in with the age of Dürer, around 1500. Most typical of the time is the Landsknecht style that was invented in Germany by mercenaries who loved dressing up on one hand, but also found the tight fashion of the time too impractical for their soldiers' life. So they simply slashed the joint areas of their garments.This "slashed" style was taken up by all classes and both sexes, lingering for decades.
At the same time, around 1500-1550, the Italian High Renaissance generated completely different clothes. For the first time, men did not just wear long garments over hose, but actual trousers - if short ones - and stockings. Beards could be seen, and the most popular head covering was the beret. Women wore stiff, flat-fronted bodices with a relatively low - but not too low - neckline and lon sleeves with a puff at the shoulder. The Italian influence on fashion ended with the decline of Eastern trade in the corse of the 16th century
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Blogger Ryan Jennings said...

Thanks for sharing info about of Renaissance Clothing fashion ....

10:37 AM  

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