Clothing during the Byzantine era was strictly regulated based on identity, status, rank, and gender. Visual and literary sources from the period provide a glimpse to Byzantine court and upper-class dress.
Tag: art history
Emulating the work of Old Masters, William Merritt Chase paints Lydia Field Emmet wearing black as a fashionable color and immediately catches the viewer’s attention with the shocking vertical contrast of a pink ribbon.
The 1760s mark the last decade during which the robe à la française dominated women’s wardrobes since it was first introduced in the 1720s. In the last three decades of the eighteenth century, other, more informal styles became fashionable for daywear and the robe à la française was increasingly worn for evening. For men, the distinction between the subdued informality of Englishmen’s dress and the colorful formality of Continental styles (particularly those of France and Italy) remained pronounced, although this would change in the following decades in favor of the former. The narrowing of the coat that began around 1750 continued in this decade and a low standing collar that would increase in height until the end of the century appeared in the middle years.
The mid-eighteenth century marked the height of rococo influence on women’s dress; colorful floral-patterned silk gowns and matching petticoats with three-dimensional trimmings, often applied in serpentine bands, were shown to advantage over wide panniers. During this and the following three decades, the marchande de modes, or milliner, who supplied and artfully arranged these delicate decorations became increasingly important in the creation of a fashionable gown. The coats of men’s three-piece suits became slimmer, losing the extreme side fullness of the 1730s and 1740s, and the waistcoat shortened to mid-thigh. Although wool was favored for daywear, especially among Englishmen, silks and velvets that might be embellished with embroidery or metallic galloon or lace were still obligatory for formal wear.
As the new decade and millennium dawned, fashion largely continued along the same trajectory that had started in the late 1990s. However, in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, fashion returned to conservatism. With the rise of new technology, fashion spread quickly and celebrities played a key role in consumer choices as images were shared through the internet instantly. While popular styles changed over the years, one item remained ubiquitous throughout the decade: denim jeans.
In the 1480s the fashions of Florence shine, immortalized in the work of Ghirlandaio and Botticelli, who create an enduring ideal of beauty and demonstrate the connection between contemporary fashion and the dress of the ancient Greeks and Romans. At the same time, Spanish influence continued to spread, introducing a new hairstyle and new outer garments. In northern Europe, we see the last of the angular silhouette as a new one emerges, slender and streamlined for men and molded for women, hinting at the beginnings of corsetry. This decade is the beginning of the transition to sixteenth-century fashion.
1470s fashion emphasized the undergarment, creating a tighter silhouette that revealed the chemise underneath. At the same time, Spain had a great influence on other regions lead by fashion icon Charles the Bold who impacted both menswear and womenswear in his era.
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