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.
Striped Hose and Double Hats ca. 1485
In addition to the flowers strewn on most of its leaves, this tiny prayer
book also contains numerous borders historiated with people dressed in
contemporaneous clothing. The two foppishly dressed men shown here
wear the new loose calf-length gown with wide lapels and long slit sleeves.
Each man also wears two hats: a large wide-brimmed version, with an
ostrich feather, worn atilt over a small cap. The seated youth wears the
new stocks divided into lower and upper hose (here the upper hose — the
boulevars — are striped). The women wear a new low-crowned coif with
Book of Hours, in Latin
Belgium, ca. 1485
93 x 67 mm
Bequest of E. Clark Stillman, 1995; MS S.7, fols. 247v&8211;248r
This was a period of transition in northern Europe—the Middle Ages were not yet over, and the Renaissance had not yet begun. Both King Charles VIII and Louis XII invaded Italy, and these military campaigns exposed France to Italian art, culture, and fashion. At the same time, the Late Gothic style still dominated the arts—and clothing—of northern Europe. Fashions of this period reflect these conflicts.
In the 1480s, the look for men changed abruptly. Padded shoulders and the V-shaped silhouette disappeared. Long loose open gowns came into style and, by the 1490s, these gowns became especially voluminous and bulky. Round-toed shoes replaced the pointy pouleines. New, however, and probably reflecting Italian influence, were the man's outer coat called a sayon, the man's hat called a carmignolle, and doublets with slit sleeves through which the linen of the shirt protruded.
Women's gowns of this period also became fuller, and bombard sleeves were revived. The neck got square. The turret disappeared, while its frontlet remained, now attached to a new small-crowned coif.