This exhibition explores the evolution of courtly clothing from the
"Fashion Revolution" around 1330
This exhibition is generously underwritten by a gift in memory of Melvin R. Seiden and
by a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
Major support is provided by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., with additional assistance from
the van Buren family in memory of Dr. Anne H. van Buren, and from the Janine Luke and
Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Exhibitions and Publications.
Women's Headgear Reaches Its Climax ca. 1470
The look for women in the 1460s and '70s was defined by the turret.
In French this headgear was called a haut bonnet (high bonnet) or mitre
(after the bishop's ceremonial miter). An attenuated cone, the turret was
normally worn with wafting transparent veils. As seen in the miniature
here, it was sometimes the custom for these veils to fall below the eyes.
The turret was affixed to the head via the templet, a cloth or metal base.
At the bottom of each turret shown here is a small hoop: this is the visible
part of the templet to which the turret is anchored.
History of Jason, in French
Belgium, Lille(?) ca. 1470
Illuminated in the style of
the Master of the
Champion des Dames
370 x 260 mm
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1902; MS M.119, fols. 23v–24r
In the 1460s and '70s fashions reached their Gothic climax. The look for both men and women was tall, long, and lean. Thin was in.
The look for men was dominated by the gown, worn either very short (to the crotch—or barely so) or very long (to the ground). Both versions, accented by a thin belt around a narrow waist, featured high padded shoulders and pleats that flared down over the buttocks and up over the back and chest. These features, developed during the previous decades, brought to a culmination the flatteringly masculine V-shaped silhouette. Pouleines, which accented the lean look, were revived. The chaperon, in fashion for over a hundred years, finally went out of style as new hats–especially a tall, loaf-shaped version—arrived.
Women's gowns continued with their wide V necks, high wasp waist, and long trains. For headgear, temples went out of fashion and were replaced by the turret. This cone-shaped coif, from the tip of which cascaded transparent veils, is perhaps the stereotypical ladies' hat from the late Middle Ages.