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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Gothic clothing

Sunday, 14 September 2008

gothic clothingWhile antique fashion reached its "rococo" in the late Roman styles, medieval fashion, after going through its intrinsic circle, reached its own rococo - "Gothic rococo". The late Gothic fashion came to its zenith at Dukes' of Burgundy court (in Czechia it was at the court of Vatslav IV). The refined taste, pomposity and splendor of new fashion were expressed in rich decoration and ornament of noble dress. 

However, Burgundy fashion was not original. It combined some elements of Italian and Czech styles, which spreaded here during the ruling of Vatslav IV. But signs from the Middle Ages were most vivid in the Burgundy fashion. They appear in the abundance of colors and numerous eccentric details. This tendency was stronger in man's clothing than in women's. A short jacket, also called pourpoinf, which was worn in addition to tight pants, enabled to emphasize naturalistic components even more - a peeping shirt, underwear, and pants outlining man's body in details - and rather practical components - for example, additional belts, suspenders and so forth.

Artists of the late Middle Ages depicted all those details with great enthusiasm, as well as pants, called Mi-Parti or "divided", typical for the late Middle Ages and its flirtation. Color combinations of men's pants often had a symbolic meaning. Thus, dark-blue and green colors, rarely used for everyday clothes, were symbols of love: dark-blue - of faithfulness, and green of admiration. According to a well-known French tailor of the XV century, casual dresses were made mainly from gray, black and violet fabrics. But party dresses abounded with contrasting details. Red color dominated, and white color hold the second place. Every color combination was acceptable. In his "Recollections" (1435 - 1488), Olivier de la Marche mentions a lady wearing a violet silk dress who arrived on a horse covered with dark-blue silk, accompanied by three men wearing clear red suits with green hoods. Black color was very popular at that time, especially, for velvet dresses. Black velvet was used for the court clothing as well. It is known that Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Kind, used to wear only suits of black color and his nobility followed him in that. The king Raney D' Anjou loved combinations of black, gray and white colors. Gray and violet colors combined with black were also in fashion. Dark-blue and green colors did not enjoy popularity, but yellow and brown seemed ugly at that time. Whether it was aesthetical or symbolic, the exact reason for such dislike of those colors is not known. Gray and brown were considered to be the colors of melancholy while green color was used for the formal occasions.

However, beginning from the second half of the XV century, once elegant combination of black and white was displaced again by the combination of yellow and dark-blue. In XVI century the whimsical and daring combinations of colors of the late Middle Ages disappeared completely. An Austrian chronicler of the XV century gave a nimble description of that variety of colors, and he noted that everyone wore clothes to his own liking. One person had a jacket of two colors, another one had the left sleeve considerably wider than the right one, sometimes it was wider than the entire jacket length. Some garments had sleeves decorated with strips of different colors and silver bells attached by silk cords. Some people wore multicolored scarves, decorated with embroidered silk or silver letters. Others finished the hem of a dress with one-color cloth, or trimmed it with a colored border round the dress or cuts and tassels. Cloaks were so short, that they did not snuggle even the sides. These short cloaks were worn on every occasion. However, special ceremonies demanded special clothes like a long cloak, called houpelande, which, probably, appeared as a replacement for labor-consuming in approximately 1360. Tailors began to make them most likely for fear of losing their jobs. Therefore, they had complex cut and rich trim, and such cloaks became clothing for formal occasions both for men and women. They were decorated with collars and furs, and often had belts. Thus, entire figure from its neckline to ankles was covered with expensive cloth or brocade. In contrast to those loose cloaks, women's underwear, more complex in cut, became even more tight.

And female figure was depicted otherwise, than at the end of the XIV century. Breast became highly raised and coming out forward, due to the highly raised waistline and a deep V-cut which decreased the dress bodice. Decollete was sometimes covered by an insert, strictly, it was a lower shirt. Those inserts in Czech were called prsniks (from the word "prs" - breast). Deep tails of heavily folded skirt transformed into trains, similar to the previous epoch. However, heads were decorated in the most expressive way with fashionable hats, which rather rapidly were replacing one another. And, probably with veil stayed in fashion the longest, coming through their analogs into the XVIII century. Snazzy clothing of that epoch was made of brocade, cloth, expensive velvet, decorated with embroidry and furs.

Fur, initially used to protect from cold, in the Middle Ages, was considered the most beautiful decoration, and it had a higher value for trimming than gold and precious stones, which remained on dresses of past epochs as, to some degree, a rudiment of "barbarous" fabric overestimation. But nevertheless, in the late Middle Ages these dresses were considered excessively expensive by the highest church and secular high officials and, therefore, they repeatedly spoke against them. The Czech guardians of morality and priests also fought against French and Italian fashion spreading in Czechia. They were dissatisfied with the royal court as well. Preachers condemned clothing of that time as sinful, vile and obscene, and they also attacked it for generating arrogance in some, and envy in others. Luxury in clothing made them worry about the future of the Czech economy. They spoke bitterly against any excesses in dresses, especially church apparel. Hussite movement, and later Reformation, opposed pompous church festivals, an important part of church life in Italy and other Catholic countries. They were enemies of any luxury in clothing. But neither church prohibitions and calls nor efforts to limit luxury could stop the new wave of fashion, which reached Czechia after the Hussite wars. Fight against the eccentricity in fashion began again. And first of all it atacked women, their trains and covers. Peter Khelchitskiy was surprised by the amount of cloth, necessary for making a woman's skirt with a train. Master Ian Rokitsana, Prague archbishop, the contemporary of Jirji from Podebrad, in his book of sermons also spoke out against Gothic trains, which contemporaries called "tails". And still that fashion was held over to the beginning of the XVI century. According to preserved judicial papers, even in 1503 Barbara from Vhrlabi charged her servant for a theft of her red dress made of Italian cloth "with the tail". Excessive decoration and colorfulness of man's clothing resulted in the ordinance of 1447 by the Prague burgomaster prohibiting Prague students from wearing such dresses; he ordered them to wear simple dresses, and not expensive ones, like townspeople wore. Burgomaster's order was followed by royal fearful prohibition. Jirji from Podebrad prohibited wearing of sharp-nosed footwear, and he requested to prohibit its production by shoemakers. But just as trains, sharp-nosed foot-wear was held over to the XVI century. Bohuslav Gasishteynskiy from Lobkovitsy in 1502 complained that 'in Czechia pointed boots were still worn'. All these voices, opposing the extremes of Gothic fashion, were codified in Augsburg Seym decisions, and in 1503 they were discussed at the Prague Emperor College of Carl IV. The calls of the morality guardians, later implemented in laws, involuntarily paved the road for new tendencies in fashion - the Renaissance fashion.

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sushyberry  - hey guys and gals!   |2009-12-12 13:54:56
well..everything is good...about this page..but i want more..."how to be a pure goth?"
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