fashion through history

features historical costumes from ancient world to modern age.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Rococo fashion era

The Rococo style of art emerged in France in the early 18th century. It is characterized by opulence, grace, playfulness, and lightness in contrast to the heavier themes and darker colors of the earlier Baroque period.
The word Rococo was apparently a combination of the French rocaille, or shell, and the Italian barocco, or Baroque style. Because of Rococo love of shell-like curves and focus on decorative arts, some critics used the term to derogatively imply that the style was frivolous or merely fashion. Since the mid 19th century, though, the term has been accepted by art historians. While there is still some debate about the art historical significance of the style, rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art.
As for fabrics, lightweight silks such as taffeta, satin and damask were chosen in light, pastel colours. Colours must not be too brilliant. Tastes were for large floral motifs at first, then favoured smaller motifs and finally, stripes sprinkled with sprigs. Solid colours were also popular throughout.
A lady's clothing of the Louis Quinze (XV) era was marked by the hoop skirt which came into use around 1720, shaped like the baskets in which chickens were carried to marked and therefore called panier. In the corse of the following decades, it changed from funnel- via dome- and trapezium-shaped to square and finally to an oval dome shape. Over the panier went a skirt named jupe and over that the coat-like robe, similar to the baroque mantua. The gap in front was covered filled with a richly decorated stomacher. The sleeves were elbow length and bore wing-like cuffs, later (from c. 1750) they ended in flounces. At neckline and elbow, the lace trim of the shirt became visible. The French robe a.k.a. contouche had large so-called Watteau pleats which flowed elegantly down the back, which the English robe was a direct descendant of the mantua with sewn-down back pleats.
At first, ladies apparently wore wigs only on rare occasions and preferred to have their own hair powdered and coiffed, decorated with a small bonnet or flowers, jewelery and bows. The use make-up, perfume, beauty spots and rich trimmings on dresses also started out relatively tame but picked up further into the century.
Men's fashion did not change much during the whole era. The justaucorps, waistcoats and breeches that had been introduced during the late baroque era were worn throughout, changing only slightly in shape. The coat skirts, for example, grew fuller until around 1740, then diminished and were cut away in front from around 1760. The waistcoat below became ever shorter until it only reached the hips. It was buttoned only in the stomach region (the coat left completely open) so that the shirt ruffles could be seen above. The cravat covered the neck.Thanks to

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Late baroque fashion

The late Baroque era, also termed the Goldern Age, lasted until the death of Louis XIV in 1715, as paralysed stylistically as the aged King was in his ways. The following era of the régence broke the spell and rang in the age of Rococo.
This era is known as a study in opulence. Fashion here was beginning to be driven primarily by the french court of Louis XIV and the English court of Charles I. The style of dress most associated with this period was known as "Cavalier" style.
Female fashion
Nearing 1660, panniers became wider, waistlines lowered and overskirts looped up on either side of the underdress. Sleeves often ended at the elbow and were trimmed with long lace cuffs or turned-up triangular cuffs. Pointed corsets reminiscent of the Elizabethan style came into fashion again. Around 1680, sleeves were puffed and sometimes segmented by ribbon ties, and overskirts looped up to form small trains at the back of floor-length skirts. Lace trim became more popular with the upper classes, and satins and silks replaced coarser materials. Panniers grew smaller again, and skirts became less full. Necklines were usually rounded and edged in lacy materials. At the turn of the century, skirts became layered or tiered, and decorative aprons became fashionable. Bodices were still corseted and pointed, and sleeves were fitted to the elbow and finished with lace.
Male fashion
After 1660, ruffles became quite common, and lace was everywhere on jackets and breeches alike. Necklines were high and decorated with lace ruffles at the neck. The more ornate style dress from 1660 to 1680 might be accounted for by the return of the monarchy to England. Near the end of that period, doublets were replaced by long coats not cinched at the waist and ending at the mid-thigh or just above the knee. Lace cuffs and fine pleating were still in style, however, and longer trousers were shortened to breeches that were tied above the knee. Between 1685 and 1690, men wore long coats with braided front panels adorned with buttons from neck to hem. Breeches were high--at or just above the knee--and fine hose was worn beneath. Necklines remained high and decorated with lace ruffles. This style remained virtually unchanged until 1715.Thanks to

Friday, April 21, 2006

Baroque and early baroque fashion

In the arts, Baroque is both a period and the artistic style that dominated it. The Baroque style used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in fashion,sculpture, painting, literature, and music. The style started around 1600 in Rome, Italy and spread to most of Europe. In music, the Baroque applies to the final period of dominance of imitative counterpoint.
The age of the original cavalier (a term synonymous with the Early Baroque) has been described as one of long locks, leather and lace. In general, a new liberalism was reflected in looser-fitting, unlaced and more casual clothes for both men and women. Large feathered hats and plumes became popular, together with often impractical, large, soft-leather boots, or highly decorated shoes.

The Elizabethan farthingale was rejected in favour of looser, layered skirts (often of satin or silk), allowing much greater freedom of movement. After Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood (1628), it was feared that tight garments might restrict blood-flow and cause various aches and ailments. Contours are softer and colours more vivid and sensuous than in the previous generation. Lace is finer and more elaborate. Embroidered floral decorations are popular in fabrics worn by both sexes.
Thanks to:
Color academy

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Gothic fashion

The Gothic style succeeded the Romanesque period and was in turn succeeded by the Renaissance. It reached its highest artistic achievements in Northern and Western Europe from the mid-12th century until as late as the end of the 15th century.
The word 'gothic' is very old, and was used from the Renaissance on to signify the art style of the Middle Ages. It was named after the German tribe of the Goths, who once had invaded Italy and so had broken up the Roman Empire. In the 15th century, man hoped to revive the classical age, they had the idea of a rebirth or renaissance. The intervening period was called a Middle Age, and we still use this negative term. Because the Italians blamed the Goths for destructing the Roman Empire, they called the art style of this period Gothic, by which they meant barbaric. Of course this was a black & white view, during the Middle Age beautiful art was made too and there wasn´t a sudden rebirth of all the classical achievements in the Renaissance. And what to think of the technical inventions in architecture in the Middle Age, which made the huge Gothic cathedrals possible, like the Notre-Dame.

But there was more than architecture: "Contrary to popular perception, Gothic style refers to more than cathedral structures. The label applies to art, sculpture, glass works, decorative pieces and illuminated manuscripts from the mid 12th through the early 16th century".
Many new techniques and styles flourished during the Gothic period to embellish the fashion of the age. Enameling once again became popular and has survived through our present day, still allowing us to appreciate its beauty. Jewelry served many purposes during this era - appreciation and honor towards a lady, religious devotion, reward of service, represent a person's station in society, political tendencies, and the symbol of office. The beauty of the Gothic era has been captured in these works of jeweled art.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Commedia del'arte

Commedia dell'arte (Italian: "comedy of professional artists" also interpreted as "comedy of humors"), also known as Extemporal Comedy, was a form of improvisational theater which began in the 16th century and was popular until the 18th century, although it is still performed today.
The characters or "masks," in spite of changes over the years, retained much of their original flavor. Most important were the zanni, or servant types; Arlecchino, or Harlequin, was the most famous. He was an acrobat and a wit, childlike and amorous. He wore a catlike mask and motley colored clothes and carried a bat or wooden sword, the ancestor of the slapstick. His crony, Brighella, was more roguish and sophisticated, a cowardly villain who would do anything for money. Figaro and Molière's Scapin are descendants of this type. Pedrolino was a white-faced, moon-struck dreamer; the French Pierrot Pierrot .Pagliaccio, the forerunner of today's clown, was closely akin to Pedrolino.

Pulcinella, as seen in the English Punch and Judy Punch and Judy shows, was a dwarfish humpback with a crooked nose, the cruel bachelor who chased pretty girls. Pantalone or Pantaloon was a caricature of the Venetian merchant, rich and retired, mean and miserly, with a young wife or an adventurous daughter. Il Dottore (the doctor), his only friend, was a caricature of learning—pompous and fraudulent; he survives in the works of Molière. Il Capitano (the captain) was a caricature of the professional soldier—bold, swaggering, and cowardly. He was replaced by the more agile Scarramuccia or Scaramouche, who, dressed in black and carrying a pointed sword, was the Robin Hood of his day.

The handsome Inamorato (the lover) went by many names. He wore no mask and had to be eloquent in order to speak the love declamations. The Inamorata was his female counterpart; Isabella Andreini Andreini, Isabella Canali , was the most famous. Her servant, usually called Columbine, was the beloved of Harlequin. Witty, bright, and given to intrigue, she developed into such characters as Harlequine and Pierrette. La Ruffiana was an old woman, either the mother or a village gossip, who thwarted the lovers. Cantarina and Ballerina often took part in the comedy, but for the most part their job was to sing, dance, or play music. None of the women wore masks.

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
Thanks to:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Late medieval fashion peroid

For the medieval person, clothing and dress always had a special meaning. The symbolic aspects of a given garment, and not simply the utility functions such as protection, played a significant role in medieval society. Costumes composed a part of courtly life as well, their special meaning having been defined and refined by members of the aristocracy for their own use. The great changes in costumes of the fourteenth century, which can best be characterized by the spread of short upper garments among men, and the general trend towards tight-fitting dresses both in male and female clothing, can be traced in written, pictorial, and archeological sources.

This part of costume studies was—unfortunately—neglected for a long time. The first medievalists who dealt with this field, obtained great merits with the recording of costume data visible on standing monuments, ruins, museums, etc. Their main idea was that forms of costumes corresponded with architectural styles, and, as those, depended on morals. Thus, the late medieval costume styles were interpreted as "complicated and bizarre", and a close relationship was supposed between the "vertical and tight-fitting" costumes of the period and the flèches of the cathedrals, compared with, for instance, " Romanesque hieratism" and "Byzantine ornamental" style.
The trend towards greater extravagance in dress, found in the 11th -13th centuries, increases throughout this whole period. Several factors were at work pushing high fashion towards greater and greater consumption: increased exports from the East in the wake of The Crusades, increased production and improved quality of textiles in the West, the wealth of a rising urban tradesman class, and the sudden increased inherited personal wealth of the survivors of the Black Plague (1350-1400).

In Italy these factors operated at a peak because fine fabric production and importation was the cornerstone of the Northern Italian economy. Huge fortunes were made in the Florentine and Venetian city republics by merchants and manufacturers who had no lands or titles with which to claim nobility. These wealthy merchants sought out a way to buy the status that they craved. With fabric as their stock in trade they dressed more lavishly than the landed nobility, and spent fantastic sums on private and public art and architecture to gain social recognition.
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

early Medieval fashion peroid

Medieval clothes history traditionally begins with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476. The transition from classical to the medieval clothing was more gradual. The Byzantine Empire continued for another thousand years, with both sexes of the upper classes wearing the tunic as the basic garment. In the West, the invasions from the north brought trousers, fitted tunics, and hoods, but it was nearly three centuries before any recorded Western style evolved from the interaction of Roman and northern European forms of dress.

Vast tribal movements took place in the Dark Ages but the earlier Teutonic invasions had small effect other than the introduction of trousers to the Romans. The Teutons adopted Roman dress, as had the Gauls and at least some the Britons.
The Romanesque and early gothic period lasted from about 1000-1350. New materials and colors arrived and fashion took a leap as imported goods were easier to get. The fitted tunic remained the main article of clothing but breeches and hose took the place of trousers and cloths also took on decorations such as jewels, embroidery, and fur trimmings. Because knitting was not yet established, hose were often made of wool or linen and were cut to fit very tight. The 12th century hose were about mid thigh and meant to cover short breeches..
After the Carolingians established political supremacy in a large part of Europe and Charlemagne became Holy Roman emperor in AD 800, he essentially wore the dress of a Byzantine emperor. Unlike Byzantine emperors, Charlemagne only wore robes on state occasions. His everyday attire consisted of an under tunic, an over tunic with a colored silk border, and breeches or trousers cross-gartered to the knee. He also wore a semicircular cloak fastened at the shoulder and a round cloth cap. Illuminated manuscripts show other European monarchs wearing similar styles.
Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period (450-1100) women wore a fairly slender undergarment, or shift, with long, narrow sleeves. In coloured illustrations this is generally white, indicating linen, although poorer woman may have had little choice but to wear wool next to the skin. It is not known how long the shift was, and it most probably varied in length. Linen shifts were valuable enough to be mentioned by several testatrix in their wills. No underpants were worn. (Of all the garments considered essential today, these were the most recently adopted, coming into general use only in the late eighteenth century. The sanitary napkins used by our Anglo-Saxon fore-mothers were most likely sewn linen pads stuffed with wool fleece, or perhaps layer upon layer of linen sewn together. These would have been set inside a close-fitting pair of drawers worn expressly for this purpose. Recall that commercially made disposable napkins only date to the third decade of the twentieth century.)

Stockings, either woven and then cut and sewn to fit, or fashioned by the technique known today as nålbinding , were held up by knee garters fashioned of wool strips.

Thanks to:


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ancient Roman fashion

Roman ingenuity of solving problems of all sorts was not only to apply itself to engineering and architecture, but also to the mundane matter of clothing.
First and foremost clothes needed to be simple. As for possible materials there was only really one. Wool, although to some extent linen was also available.
The needles of the day were coarse and unwieldy. Hence any stitching or sewing produced less than elegant garments. This of course also ruled out button holes, and meant that any kind of clothing was held together wither with knows or safety pins.
As undergarments Romans would wear a simply loin cloth knotted on each side. This garment appeared to have several names. The most probable explanation for this is that they varied in shape.
They were the subligar, subligaculum, campestre, cinctus.
Women would also wear a simple brassière in the form of a band, tightly tied around her body.
If in the early days the toga was worn directly on the naked body, then later a simple tunic was added, tied at the waist with a belt.
There was some old families with ancient ancestry insisted on continuing the tradition of dressing without a tunic, but their fellow Romans understood them to be old fashioned relics of times by.
Roman men generally wore two garments, the tunica and the toga. The tunica was a short woolen under garment with short sleeves. By contrast, to wear a long tunic with long sleeves was considered effeminate and was generally avoided by society as a whole. It was originally worn mainly by the working class plebes, freedmen and slaves, though its function as an undergarment for any class of people is attested. As the toga was specifically meant as a public display garment, the tunica was also worn by any people within the comforts of their own homes. The tunic worn by patrician men was made from white wool or expensive linen, while the poor would wear whatever fabric was readily available. Similar to the toga, distinct tunics were worn to signify one's title. Magistrates wore the tunic augusticlavia, and senators wore a tunic with broad strip called the tunica laticlavia. In addition, a belt would be worn around the waist of the tunica to hold the waist of the garment snug, giving the impression of a two piece garment.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Ancient Greek fashion

Greek clothing was very simple and practical. In the winter ancient Greeks wore clothes made of wool, and in the summer they wore clothes made of linen. Clothes and fabric could be bought in the angora, the market place, but it was very expensive. Therefore, many Greeks made their own clothes at home. This was the job of the women: the mother, the daughters, and the female slaves. To be more specific, men wore tunics. A tunic is basically a knee-length t-shirt also made of wool or linen. If it was cold, Greek men wore woolen cloaks or himations over their tunics. Their cloaks could also be used as blankets, for example if they were off fighting a war. As for the shoes, most Greek men didn’t even wear any shoes. And when they did, they were usually basic leather sandals.

Ancient Greek dress was more voluminous than that of the Egyptians, and was most often made of fine woolens, although it is thought that the Greeks also had regular access to linen, hemp cloth and silk. The primary garment of Ancient Greek clothing was the Chiton, an all-over body garment made from a large rectangle of cloth wrapped once around the body from right side to right side.
Around 1.200 B.C. waves of Dorian invaders swept into Greece from Illyria on the east of the Adriatic and brought about the downfall of the Mycenaean civilization. The following four centuries are known as the "Dark Age" of Greece. The period started with a civilization of people dressed in bell-shaped skirts and tightly fitted bodices, and ended with a race dressed in draped clothes, the costumes we now associate with the Greeks and the Romans.
From the seventh century B.C. onwards, we have vast quantities of reference material for the study of costume. Greeks were among the finest exponents of figurative sculpture. Never before had costume been portrayed with such meticulous care and precision. Statues, together with untold numbers of painted pots, give the historian a unique pictorial history of the development of a nation and its fashions. At the same time, we have the invaluable contribution of the written word. Such great Greek historians as Herodotus have given us very detailed descriptions of developments in fashion and the social significance of costume and their accessories like jewellery
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Ancient Egypt fashion

Ancient Egypt fashion consisted of a variety of colors and was generally adorned with precious gems and jewels. While ancient Egyptian fashions were primarily constructed for the purpose of comfort, this apparently did not mean that ancient Egyptians felt they should sacrifice beauty for comfort.

Most ancient Egypt fashion, regardless of the gender or society level for which it was intended, was constructed for the purposes of keeping cool in the hot, dry desert.

Most of the clothing in Ancient Egypt was made of linen; a few items were made from wool. Cotton was not introduced until the Coptic (Christian) period.
Linen is spun from the stem of the flax plant. Different grades were produced depending on the desired end product. The finest thread was produced from the youngest plant.
Spinning, weaving, and the sewing of clothes was an important activity at all levels of society. Royal harem ladies were involved in it as a commercial enterprise, and peasant and workers' wives produced clothing for their families and bartered the surplus.
Various plant dyes were sometimes applied before weaving to produce red, yellow or blue thread, but most was left in its natural color. After the weaving was done, linen could be sun bleached to produce an attractive white cloth that was very popular with the well to do.

Thanks to :
Ancient Egypt Online
Women in the ancient world
Designer history

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Prehistoric art of fashion

Prehistoric humans lives in a cave .
The immunity of those peoples was 10 times stronger than modern men .
They were use coat and skins from other animals what they killed for food.

what is fashion actualy?

My best definition for fashion is that clothes is our second skin.
Why second skin ,couse of clothes our organism is better protected from outside events.

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