Fashion History Inspirations

Medieval or Middle Ages: Feudal Ages (10th and 13th Century)

In this period it was important to show royalty and loyalty through clothes, and almost everyone lived by the chivalry and heraldic codes, therefore the dress became symbolic. The search for unique patterns led to the practice of sewing together sections of different-colored fabrics within one garment. Garments decorated in this way were called mi-parti or parti-colored.

This Alexis Mabelli outfit is inspired by this concept.

Armors were primarily used against lethal weapons in wars and combats. They also signified a knight’s status and lifestyle. Armors were made from copper, bronze and steel. This Angela Lindvall dress reminds me of armors.

Northern Renaissance (1500-1600 16th Century)

Garments of this period were ornamented with decorative slashing or panes, under which contrasting linings were placed. The story of the origins of these slashes is that a ragged but victorious Swiss army was said to have stuffed the colorful silk fabrics they had looted from the enemy under their very torn clothes because they were cold. This impromptu fashion was picked up and imitated by the population.

This Max Aria dresses shows slashing details on the sides

Late Middle Ages: Gothic Period (14th and 15th Century)

Many historians point to the 14th century as the point at which changes in fashion began. About 1340, styles for men changed markedly and a number of new garments came into use, among them the cote-hardie and houppeland (my favorite word in fashion history, houppeland!)

The wide, funnel sleeves of this Alexander McQueen gown reminds me of the sleeves of these garments.

The Baroque and Rococo Periods (18th Century)

The Baroque Period is one of extreme and profuse fashion, where appearance was very important and people were critically judged for how they dresssed. The Rococo (or High Baroque) Period was still very decorated, but had a less extreme and softer approach.

This lavish Christian Lacroix gown evokes the Baroque Period with its embroidery and fitted bodice, and the drapery of the outer skirt reminds me of the polonaise on the sheppardess dress.

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