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Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands


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To enhance appreciation for the fashions of the era, four full-scale replicas of late medieval ensembles are presented, using period hand-sewing techniques and authentic materials—including silk velvet, gold brocade, linen, straw, and ermine. One is of the youth in the blue cote hardy from the Vows of the Peacock, indicative of the "Fashion Revolution." Another is the luxuriously embroidered houpeland of the aristocratic huntsman from the Livre de la chass. The voluminous gown and towering turret worn by Geneviève in the Romance of Tristan is brought to life in three-dimensional reality. Also featured is the houpeland of Catherine of Cleves, a replica on loan from Museum Het Valkhof in the city of Nijmegen, the Netherlands; the garment recreates the elaborate ensemble she wears while giving alms.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.