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The omnipresent significance of the eighteenth century and the masked ball for the House of Dior found expression in the design of “Angie” for the “Masquerade and Bondage” collection, a short variation on 1760s court dress, paraphrasing the fashionable life and cruel fate of Marie Antoinette. Using the surface of the hip panels as a canvas for narrative and caricaturized embroideries, the dress becomes an epitome of storytelling through dressmaking, evoking crucial episodes of French history. Gal

An ‘Informalizing Spurt’ in Clothing Regimes: Court Ballet and the Civilizing Process

Norman R. Gabriel

Source: Dressed to Impress. Looking the Part 2011

Book chapter

The aim of this chapter is refine the model of long-term social processes proposed by Elias (1994) in the Civilizing Process by concentrating on one particular development in the early history of ballet, the transition from court to romantic ballet during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in France. According to Carter (1998), dance historiography has suffered from a veneer of glamour, myth and mystery: she argues that the focus on the history of stars and the self-promoting mythologization

Royal and Aristocratic Dress

Beatrix Bastl

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

After her flight from Lochleven to Carlisle, Mary [Stuart of Scotland] was in dire need of clothes and asked [Queen] Elizabeth to send her some dresses. Elizabeth harshly denied her request, because Mary had not asked Elizabeth for just any kind of clothes, but for used dresses from Elizabeth’s own wardrobe. As a reply, Elizabeth sent some lengths of black velvet, black satin and black taffeta. With this gift Elizabeth not only denied Mary royal dignity but also sent a sharp reprimand for Mary’s

Sweden

Ulla Brück

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Historically there are several indications of an urge to follow fashion in Sweden, although changes were slow. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries medieval and Renaissance traits still dominated. In the eighteenth century, two-piece dresses for women and breeches and jackets for men became more common. Sweden has numerous varieties of provincial folk dress. Some consider these to be historic items, with strong local identification, while others see them as inventions of nineteenth-cent

Rites of Passage and Ritual Traditions of the Shan

Susan Conway

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Shan State is bordered by China, Tibet, Laos, and Thailand. The Shan belong to the Tai ethnic groups. Their rulers came from prominent local families, but they usually had to present tribute payments to more powerful monarchs. The major Shan religion is Theravada Buddhism, which assimilated ancient spirit religions. The Shan make textiles and cultivate cotton. They have for centuries imported Chinese and Burmese raw silk and other luxury fabrics. Exotic court dress identified rulers with the gods

Court Dress of Thailand: History and Symbolic Significance

Susan Conway

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

According to ancient Buddhist chronicles, Thai royalty descended from heaven. Rule by divine right flourished, reinforced by the Khmer belief that kings were manifestations of Brahmanical gods. Thai royalty adopted Hindu court rituals, while Buddhist monks performed rites reflecting the belief that the king is a bodhisattva (a reincarnated Buddha who is a spiritual guide). Early figurines of boddhisatva wear long draped cloth and elaborate jewelry. Sumptuary laws reinforced belief in the king as

India

Jasleen Dhamija

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The different geoclimatic conditions and rich ethnic mix in India have led to various dress styles, stemming from migrations of peoples from Central Asia and China, and possibly the Goths. The strongest clothing tradition for women is draping, unstitched cloth being considered sacred. Although India absorbed various cultures, external factors did not impact greatly on it until incursions by Mahmud of Gazna (997 c.e.). Influence from Afghans, Turks, and Arabs heralded the introduction of Islam, br

Early History of Dress and Fashion in Italy and the Iberian Peninsula

Carmen Alfaro Giner and Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli

Translated by Ana Alacovska

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Rock engravings in Valcamonica, Italy, indicate the use of looms and thus weaving in the second millennium b.c.e. Tunics were worn by both men and women during pre-Roman times in the Iberian Peninsula.Italian regions colonized by Greece in the eighth century b.c.e. were influenced by Hellenic fashion. The Roman royal period lasted from 753 to 509 b.c.e., followed by the republic and the empire. Clothing during the first two periods was largely austere, although wealth and refinement characterized

Austria

Irene Guenther

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Austria’s capital, Vienna, has been a political and cultural center, from which came a number of distinctive dress styles that influenced the rest of Europe. Among these are the dance dress for the waltz craze of the 1840s, as well as straw bonnets, which originated as peasant dress but were adopted as middle-class fashion, as was also the dirndl, which is the regional folk dress. As Austria was one of the great powers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Austrian dress has also been

Overview of the Ryūkyūs

Kristine M. Kamiya

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The 160 islands of the Ryūkyū archipelago extend from the southern shores of Japan to Taiwan. The forty-nine inhabited islands are divided into groups: Okinawa, Miyako, Yaeyama, Senkaku, and Daito. Inhabited for at least thirty thousand years, most of their history involved being caught in power struggles between China and Japan, then between Japan and the United States. Ryūkyūan dress is regularly overlooked as having specific identity, possibly partly because the traditional ryūsō (robe), is co

Historical Evidence: Japan

Alan Kennedy

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In no other civilization has historical dress been so carefully preserved and documented as in Japan. This unique approach stems from its ancient tradition of above-ground storage. The earliest, most important costumes surviving above ground in Japan comprise nine patchwork Buddhist robes, preserved in a temple complex founded in the eighth century c.e. Even foreign non-Buddhist robes can be found in Japanese Buddhist temples. Various sixteenth-century dragon robes, gifted from the Chinese court,

Royal Dress in India and Pakistan

Ritu Kumar

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

India’s oldest literary works, the Vedas (1500–500 b.c.e.) contain no exact descriptions of royal clothing; however, accounts of flowing, gold-embroidered clothes, obviously regal dress, appear in the earliest Veda. The Aryans instituted kingship and social hierarchy. Early royalty clearly wore waist wraps, sashes, upper garments, and turbans. In northern Indian kingdoms, Central Asian influence dominated; local royalty is depicted in flowing garments and elaborate jewelry. The southern Indian Sa

The Thai King’s Colors

Leedom Lefferts

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Beginning in 2006, many citizens of the Kingdom of Thailand started wearing shirts of a bright canary yellow with stitched logos proclaiming in Thai, Rao Rak Nay Luang— “We love His Majesty, the King.” Nay Luang is a less formal, more affectionate term than the king’s formal title, Phra Chao Pen Din, “Lord of the Land.” Sometimes the formula appears in English: “Long Live the King.” Occasionally, other colors, such as strawberry pink and lime green, have been used, but yellow has remained the mos

The Dynamics of Fashion in West Europe

Bo Lönnqvist

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fashion in Europe can be defined as a cultural phenomenon since about 1500. Sociological definitions of fashion have emphasized collective and individualistic processes, expressed in such notions as: leaders and adherents, court fashion, bourgeois fashion and social class, fashion restrictions, and mass fashion. All can be found in West Europe, where modern fashion originated. Social change, reflected in changing fashions, has been closely connected with cultural change. Sumptuary laws promulgate

Court Dress

Joanna Marschner

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Structure and Form of European Clothes

Peter McNeil

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Clothing is both a material covering and an enclosure for the body that in West Europe is generally constructed through draping or cutting cloth or through weaving or knitting it to shape. The structure of European dress is also bound up with abstract ideals of conduct and beauty. The aesthetic and phenomenological dimension of clothing moving in space is also significant. Some fashions such as women’s court dress from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were designed to be “read” from a fro

Early History of Dress and Fashion in Continental West Europe

Mechthild Müller

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The discovery of the Iceman “Oetzi,” who lived between 3500 and 3000 b.c.e., provides valuable information on early dress. His many garments included a patchwork-style goat-fur mantle. Much later, Roman dress included tunics and togas for Roman citizens or friendly allied nations. In 816/817 Charlemagne’s son, Louis the Pious, made monks and members of the clergy accept dress codes. Lay men and women were required to dress differently, and women had to cover their heads in public. Fashion during

Thailand

Uraiwan Pitimaneeyakul and Karen L. LaBat

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Thailand’s geographical surroundings encouraged exchange of cultural traditions. Although the northern border is shared by Myanmar and Laos, the Chinese influenced dress through trade and invasion. Similarly, Indian influences on dress have been adopted by Thais in the west and south of the country. Traditional Thai dress mirrors the complex etiquette of court culture, with strong Indian and Chinese influences. Clothing worn in the early twenty-first century reveals this rich cultural heritage. T

Dress of the Ranas of Nepal

Gautam S.J.B. Rana

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Rana rule in Nepal began in 1846, when, against a background of internecine strife within the ruling elite, Jung Bahadur (1816–1877) seized power. By 1850 Jung Bahadur had removed all his rivals, installed a new king on the throne, and appointed his brothers and allies to the key positions of government. He himself became prime minister. The king later bestowed on him the hereditary title of maharaja, and Jung Bahadur also assumed the name Rana, which had connotations of martial glory. Since his

Royal Dress Preserved at the Topkapi Museum

Hülya Tezcan

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Topkapi Palace is home to an opulent collection of 1,550 garments of historical Ottoman apparel. The existence of this collection arises from a palace tradition whereby when a sultan or (male) member of the immediate court died, his clothes were removed for safekeeping and placed in protective wrappers. The collection begins with kaftans belonging to Fatih Sultan Mehmed (Mehmed the Conqueror, 1451–1481), and it ends with garments owned by the last sultan, Mehmet Reşad in the early twentieth c

Rwanda and Burundi

Michele D. Wagner

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

External appearance has played an important role in the modern history of Rwanda and Burundi, and within this history, by a twist of fate, fashion has been surprisingly well recorded for more than a century. This record of clothing, ornaments, charms, and hairstyles shows that, although the material basis of dress has changed a great deal—especially with the shift away from bark cloth and animal skins—certain forms, such as the togalike umwitero, have persisted over time.

Batik Dress of Java

Maria Wronska-Friend

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Batik—a wax-resist dyeing technique used to produce a range of traditional garments, is a prominent feature of Javanese culture. Each of the major ethnic groups living on the island—Javanese, Sundanese, Chinese, Eurasian, and Arab, used batik textiles as markers of their identity and social status, which resulted in the development of several regional and ethnic styles. At the same time complex iconography, rich symbolic language, and the high accomplishment required to produce many of these text

Overview: Han Chinese

Juanjuan Wu and John E. Vollmer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Today, the Han people represent over ninety-two percent of the population in China. Han populations are dispersed worldwide. Their name comes from the Han dynasty (206 b.c.e.–220 c.e.), the first period of expanded empire in East Asia. Although no dress from the early period survives, representations in bronze or jade indicate that elites wore elaborate patterned robes. Figures that are apparently servants are less ornately dressed. The oldest Chinese writings mention the importance of dress in d

Looks and Appearance

Baldesar Castiglione

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion 2nd Edition 2009

Book chapter

‘I remember your saying earlier that this courtier of ours should be naturally endowed with beauty of countenance and person and with an attractive grace. Well, I feel sure that I possess both grace and beauty of countenance, and that's why so many women, as you know, are madly in love with me. But when it comes to the beauty of my person, I am rather doubtful, and especially as regards these legs of mine which do not seem to me to be as good as I would wish; still, as to my chest and so on, I am

The Cavaliers and the Parvenus as Imitators of the Court

Werner Sombart

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion 2nd Edition 2009

Book chapter

Nothing has contributed more towards perverting our ideas of probity, candour, and disinterestedness, or turning those virtues into ridicule; nothing has more strengthened that fatal propensity to luxury, which is natural to all men, but which is become with us a second nature, by that peculiarity of temper, which makes us fasten eagerly upon everything that can gratify our passions; and nothing in particular has so greatly degraded the French nobility as the rapid and dazzling fortunes of contra

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