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17th Century Fashion


This is another post dedicated to fashion but with a difference.  One of lectures I had during summer school was on the different fashions of the 17th century and I found it fascinating the different types of dress there were and what the colour and material of the clothes said of the person who wore them.  When looking through examples of clothes I especially loved the two main types of skirt type for women which at the time clearly expressed where the sitter was from and illustrated the different fashions of different countries.
These two pictures are examples of different dress portrayed in two full length portraits and were painted around the same time.
On the left is Margaret of Austria, wife of King Phillip III of Spain and her dress is what is called a Spanish farthingale.  The characteristics of the dress include it's padded hip rolls and it's cone shape that falls to the ground.

On the right is Anna of Denmark, wife of King James I of England and her dress is called a French farthingale.  This type of dress is in a drum shape and falls short of the floor to reveal the feet of the women.

These examples show the different styles each country had with Spain being a Catholic, more conservative country having dress that covered the women up entirely complete with a close neck ruff.  In England on the other had, where it was Protestant the fashion was a little more revealing as seen with the Queen's open ruff and neckline showing of her chest.

Hope you enjoyed this post. It kind of combined Art History and fashion and shows that even back in the 17th century fashion was very important.

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