Italian Renaissance Fashion

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Jennifer Rider
Professor Elenor
TA 430
December 12th, 2012

The Italian Renaissance Fashion
An age of artistic endeavors, inventive innovations, and of some of the most premier fashions in clothing, the Italian Renaissance was a birth of art, knowledge and of course, style. “Toward the end of the 14th century AD, a handful of Italian thinkers declared that they were living in a new age. The barbarous, unenlightened “Middle Ages” were over, they said; the new age would be a “rinascità” (“rebirth”) of learning and literature, art and culture. This was the birth of the period now known as the Renaissance” (History.com). The Italian Renaissance was one of the most revolutionary times in world history, not only did it have some of the greatest inventions and art but the clothing, hairstyles, and makeup were absolutely gorgeous. The Renaissance had some of the most beautiful attire of the time period, from the long decorated gowns, to ruffled sleeves, high collars, and the infamous tights. Ultimately it seems during the Renaissance, fashion was determined by class, rulers of the age, and to accentuate the male and female human form no matter what shape or size.

Renaissance clothing was often extravagant depending on the person’s status within the community. The richer one was the more elaborate and decorative their hair, makeup, and clothing was. The middle class had nice quality garments but could never usurp the higher class’s outfits in design or color. As for the poorer class, their garbs were usually plain, maybe even tattered and made out of simple linens and the dullest colors. “Although poorly enforced, sumptuary laws in Europe from the middle ages to the 18th century dictated the color and material of a courtier’s clothing. To separate the growing middle class from the nobility, these sumptuary laws imposed dress codes according to rank, gender, wealth, religion and even virtue. Breaking dress codes also came with much harsher penalties.” (Beccia). The...
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