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Sumptuary Laws

Reed Benhamou

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Sumptuary regulation is of two general types: prescriptive and proscriptive. The first defines what people must purchase, wear, or use, the second what they may not. Although both approaches limit choice, proscriptive laws can be seen as less onerous in so far as individual freedom is concerned since they imply acceptance of anything not expressly forbidden.

Performance Dress in Japan

Monica Bethe

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

Encyclopedia entry

In early-twenty-first-century Japan, theater and dance performances range from the avant-garde to traditional performing arts that trace their beginnings to periods spanning over a thousand years. The costumes worn for these traditional performances reflect styles of dress prevalent at various historical periods, though not necessarily the period corresponding to the inception of the art in question. The story of performance costume must therefore be seen against the background of the history of

Dress Reforms of the Early Twentieth Century in Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan

Derek Bryce

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

Encyclopedia entry

During the 1920s and 1930s, three states—Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan—embarked on a series of wide-ranging programmatic reforms designed to transform their respective societies fundamentally. Often called “modernization from above” because of their association with authoritarian elites, these reforms attempted to impose changes in state, economic, and sociocultural spheres that favored broadly Western models and to replace or restrict the practice of corresponding traditional, indigenous, or Isl

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

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

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

Ottoman Dress

Nancy Micklewright

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Ottomans were a world power in the Mediterranean for several centuries, with their empire extending at its height from Tabriz in the east around the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Egypt, and across North Africa to Algiers. In Europe, they controlled much of Hungary, the Balkans, and Greece. Although it took nearly two hundred years to assemble this vast empire, their role as a world power was assured with their conquest of Constantinople in 1453. From that point until the defeat of the Ottoma

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

Switzerland

Sigrid Pallmert

Translated by Kirsten Warner

Philipp Thüring

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

Encyclopedia entry

As a multicultural country, dress in Switzerland has been characterized by a cosmopolitan outlook and adoption of international influences. Bourgeois styles have been dominant, but at various times communities of radical thinkers and avant-garde artists have made their mark on Swiss dress styles. For the rural population, regional and ethnic dress has been very important, to the extent that Swiss folklore has had a considerable influence on the perception of Switzerland. This is true even in the

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

Silk

Giorgio Riello

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

Encyclopedia entry

Silk, a natural fiber produced from silkworms, is not native to Europe. Of all natural fibers, silk has most preserved its exotic connotations: sensual, rich in texture, and unique for its shine. Natural silk remains the most appreciated fiber not just in Europe but globally. Its origin can be located in China and dates back to between 5000 and 3000 b.c.e. Archaeological evidence suggests that Chinese silk was discovered by Europeans as early as 500 b.c.e., but it took several centuries for silk

Laws of Differentiation

Irvin Cemil Schick

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

Encyclopedia entry

A significant development in the history of Islamic dress is a series of laws that required non-Muslims living within Islamic states to wear distinguishing clothing. These are generally known as laws of differentiation (ghiyar). They were mainly aimed at the so-called dhimmi, or tolerated non-Muslim subjects, namely, Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. The term dhimmi does not include other, polytheistic groups, such as Hindus.

Sumptuary Laws

Irvin Cemil Schick

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

Encyclopedia entry

Sumptuary laws (from Latin sumptuariae leges) are rules that attempt to regulate people’s habits of (luxury) consumption with respect to clothing, food, furniture, housing, and so forth. While they generally have economic underpinnings, they have also historically been used to regulate and reinforce social hierarchies and morals through restrictions on the purchase and display of such luxuries. The following excerpt from an Ottoman imperial edict issued in 1824 makes this clear: Whereas the popul

Fur

Lise Skov

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

Encyclopedia entry

Fur comes from animal pelts that are chemically treated to make the leather supple and retain the hairs, which consist of guard hairs and underwool. Although furs come from many different animals, the most common in the twenty-first century are mink and fox. Fur has been appreciated for two outstanding qualities: warmth, essential in cold climates, and appearance, which accounts for its association with ostentation and prestige dressing. Comfort and durability have also made fur garments and acce

Historical Evidence: China and Inner Asia

John E. Vollmer

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

Encyclopedia entry

A continuous written record concerning Chinese dress dates back to the fifth century b.c.e. It coincides with, and partially informs, the very extensive archaeological record for China and parts of Inner Asia that came under Chinese control at various times in history. Some of the most ancient records describe the role of appropriate dress in ensuring the efficacy of state rituals. Later, these writings would be used to promote ideals of social order and reinforce the notions of the superiority o

Immigrants Encounter North American Dress

Linda Welters

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Immigrants face many challenges when settling in a new country as they arrive with different cultural beliefs and practices. Immigrants may elect to reject the old and adapt their beliefs to their new culture, to preserve their “Old World” culture, or to blend some aspects of their cultural heritage into their lives as immigrants. The process by which one group takes on the cultural traits of a larger group is called assimilation. A related concept is acculturation, which is a change in the cultu

Prescribing Fashion: Dress, Politics and Gender in Sixteenth-Century Italian Conduct Literature

Elizabeth Currie

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

Book chapter

In the evening, when it is customary for Florentines to go out often, they wear caps on their heads, and cloaks in the Spanish style, that is with a hood at the back. Men who wear these during the day, unless they are soldiers, are considered disreputable and shabby. In the house they wear a large beret in the winter, and either a frock-coat or a catelano; in the summer a small beret, a house-coat of cloth or gabardine from Lille. Whoever rides horses wears a cloak or some type of loose over-coat

Fashion Dominance in France: History and Institutions

Yuniya Kawamura

Source: The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion. Dress, Body, Culture 2004

Book chapter

Tracing back the political history of Europe, we see that fashion began not in France (Laver 1969/1995; Lipovetsky 1994; Perrot 1994; Steele 1988) but in Italy where it was closely associated with the rise of urban life and the middle class in the mid-fourteenth century (Steele 1988: 18), both of which favored the development of fashion innovation and competition.History of Italian fashion between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries can be found in Boucher (1967/1987: 203–5, 222–5).This is whe

None Shall Wear

Susan Vincent

Source: Dressing the Elite. Dressing the Elite Clothes in Early Modern England 2003

Book chapter

From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century there were nine major statutes relating to apparel.There were also minor laws passed in 1355, 1364, 1420 and 1477. In addition to this legislative activity, the Commons unsuccessfully petitioned the Crown for sumptuary regulation in 1402 and 1406. Frances Baldwin gives a detailed account of all of this in the first four chapters of Sumptuary Legislation and Personal Regulation in England (Baltimore, 1926). The first appeared in 1337 and prohibited al

Slavic Wedding Customs on Two Continents

Patricia Williams

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

The Slavic people have three broad divisions: the eastern, the southern, and the western, primarily composed of Czechs (Bohemians and Moravians), Poles, and Slovaks. Problems often arise when discussing the Slavic people since ethnographic, historic and political boundaries do not always correspond, the result of centuries of prolonged political conflict and the domination of various powers in Eastern Europe. A basic similarity pervades the folk customs surrounding the use of dress and ritual amo

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