Court Dress, 1533-1537

£5.00

History of Costume III 1500-1660

Availability: In stock

In the early 16th century Henry VIII, Francis I and Emperor Charles V competed. England received fashion belatedly and suspiciously from France then adapted it. Emphasis was on an extravagant air of ostentation reflecting that the wearers could afford such fashion living comfortably by trade. English exports of wool offset imports of other goods. The silhouette became square with all details consistent. Cloaks or overmantles were cut to the knee and had width gathered in to a wide yoke. Revers, turned back over the shoulderline, added more width. Sleeveless jerkins had round-cut skirts hanging in fluted folds and parted over the monstrous slashed and padded codpiece. The jerkin was cut low to show the front of the doublet whose gorgeous sleeves were worn through the slits of the overmantle. Sleeves were the most important item giving width to the figure so much work went into them. They were made detachable and interchangeable. The spade beard and fierce moustaches of more masculine image kept the square outline, and the flat tammy-crowned hats were worn straight with feathers at the sides to give width to the head. Shoes were cut square with rolled toe-pieces, slashed and puffed. The Germans and Swiss revolutionised leg-wear, sporting stockings and breeches called galli­gaskins. Charles V here wears tight paned breeches with stockings rolled over the knee. The four-square look of women’s clothes was achieved by finishing the bodice in a straight décolletage across the chest from shoulder to shoulder and attaching it at a straight waistline to a funnel-shaped skirt. Sleeves repeated this shape but were turned back into huge cuffs, often lined with fur. Even undersleeves had the open back-seam caught together at intervals with a jewel or rosette, letting another sleeve puff through. The décolletage was filled in with a finely drawn-up muslin tucker, or chemise. Caps of linen or fur framed the face, tammy-shaped tied under the chin. The gabled head-dress gave the wearers a dignified air. A small bonnet tied to give a demure English lady a slightly double chin, had the front wired and pinched into a square, Tudor-arch, with a band of stiff embroidery sewn on as a return piece to the edge to hold the gabled shape in position. Often the hair was covered with brocade, crossed over the forehead and repeating the point of the gable. A wide piece of material, with a brocade folded edge, was laid over the top of the bonnet and caught to it at each ear while one or more corners could be turned up and pinned on the top of the head. A square cap could be made to cover the back of the bonnet, two long lappets hanging down behind each shoulder. The lop-sided mode arose as an individual character. Jane Seymour looks less stolid with one end of her hood tossed over her head.

Dimensions 38.1 × 25.5 cm