The 17th Century
Men's shoes - High Baroque (Versailles)
After the death of Queen Elizabeth I, tight fitting and stiff clothing began to be replaced by loose and flexible one. The ideal body type for woman was a bit chubby (Rubenesque). The silhouette was softer and billowy, sloping around the shoulders. High waistlines and stiff *stomachers became popular, also large sleeves gathered at the wrist or elbow, which eventually became more ruffled.
Solid colors and embroidery were more popular than the patterns on fabrics. Women’s footwear was much less complicated than those of men’s. Even jewelry was also very simple like pearls. Hair was center-parted with ringlets.
The attire of men became a looser silhouette - known as the cavalier style, which reminds us of "the Three Musketeers". The Elizabethan ruff has gone and replaced by the 'falling band' (a wide, flat lace collar). The Doublet had a very high waistline and a loose, flared fit. This style also featured knee-high boots, often turned down with lace, wide-brimmed hats with feathers, long, loose hair, pointed beards & moustaches, and capes thrown over one shoulder.
(*) The stomacher started to be incorporated into the dress, thanks to new technologies in hooks and eyes.
High Baroque (Versailles ladies)
HIGH BAROQUE: VERSAILLES
During this time, Louis XIV or Le Roi-Soleil (1638 – 1715) reigned over France and men’s fashions became more extravagant. Louis set strict rules for court dress. Every nobleman must wear a certain and specific set of (expensive) clothes for every individual occasion. If nobles weren't wearing the right set of clothes, they weren't allowed to court (and they had to be at court, otherwise they'd lose power and prestige). Some of the nobility actually went bankrupt trying to keep up with the King's fashion rules. But Louis would lend you money for your wardrobe, thus making you forever in his dept, meaning that he had robbed you for your power, but could rely upon your support.
Fashion was used to political extent in the 17e Century like never before! Louis also made it illegal for everything that makes up clothing to be imported. As a consequence, France became the world's largest and best producers of lace.
He also promote late-night shopping. In short, he invented the fashion industry as we know it! And forever secured Paris as the international capital of fashion.
LATE BAROQUE: THE RESTORATION (from 1660)
After a very strict, Puritan decade, the party started again when King Charles II reigned over England (The Merry Monarch). Women's clothing was loose, billowy, voluptuous and intentionally a little disheveled for that 'just been romping' look.
King Charles II issued a decree to all the gentlemen of the court laying down strict rules about attire. The nobility were commanded to wear a longish jacket, breeches and a skirt and cravat. So, only four items, which we still see till now. Today it's your classical suite! This gave the illusion that everybody was being sensible and thrifty. They were not buying any new fashion facts from Europe (Versailles). Throughout Europe, female attire began to echo this new, very vertical male silhouette of the Restoration. This long vertical silhouette also was shown in their hairdo, like the 'Fontage'.
Also have a look at the beautiful illustrations of Margo and learn more about their beauty rituals!
Next time we will illustrate the 18th Century or Rococo. Till then!
You can look at our previous posts over here.