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Evidence about Dress in the United States

Jean L. Druesedow

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

Encyclopedia entry

Dress is one of the most informative aspects of our culture. It reveals the personal aesthetic of the wearer in response to specific times, places, and events. Through dress one can often ascertain the age, sex, occupation, socioeconomic status, and religion of the wearer. One can investigate life rituals, family relationships, cross-cultural, and regional attitudes. One of the most persistent problems in dress history is the changing definition of the word costume. It is used by historians and c

Romania: Urban Dress, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Angela Jianu

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Romania in the early twenty-first century encompasses two territorial and political entities that were known as the Romanian (or Danubian) Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia before their unification in 1859 and their transformation into the Kingdom of Romania in 1866. Although the Romanian principalities retained their administration for some time under Ottoman influence, which began in the fourteenth century, in the seventeenth century the Ottoman authorities appointed their own rulers, an

Between East and West—Elite Fashions and Political Change in the Romanian Principalities, 1774–1850

Angela Jianu

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Foreign observers often remarked on the love of luxury among Greek and Romanian nobles at the Phanariot courts of Bucharest and Iasi. Details excepted, female and male figures looked very similar in long, ample vestments. When the Swedish painter Alexander Roslin painted Catherine the Great’s maid of honor, Moldavian Princess Zoe Ghika, in 1777, the sitter may have represented more than a pretty girl in exotic costume. The daughter of a former Phanariot prince of Moldavia, she had joined her fami

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,

French Travelers Writing on Russian Dress

Raisa Marduhovna Kirsanova

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Among many French travelers who described Russia’s native attire were artists, politicians, and historians. The most popular memoirs were those of Louis-Philippe de Ségur (1753–1830), French ambassador to Russia under Catherine the Great. The count stated that in Russia, “red” (krasniy) is equivalent to “beautiful” (krasiviy), because, observing the predominance of red in peasant festive dress, he perceived it as the color of national holidays. Court painter Vigée LeBrun (1755–1842), who emigrate

Evidence about Dress of Indigenous People: United States Territory

Jenna Tedrick Kuttruff

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

Encyclopedia entry

American archaeology focuses, as does archaeology in other parts of the world, on the study of the human past by excavating and analyzing the material remains and monuments of past cultures and the contexts in which they are found. Archaeological findings and interpretations can be combined with information found in historical accounts to enhance the study of dress of North American Indian peoples not only at the times of early European contact but also prehistorically. Archaeology has provided e

Ancient Greek Dress

Mireille M. Lee

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Ancient Greek dress refers to dress of the archaic (ca. 700–480 b.c.e.), classical (ca. 480–323 b.c.e.), and Hellenistic (ca. 323–146 b.c.e.) periods. In antiquity, the Greek-speaking world included mainland Greece and the islands of the Aegean, as well as the western coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and Magna Graecia (including southern Italy and Sicily). Dress varied according to region; some garments and perfumes, for example, were identified by their cities of origin. Unfortunately, many o

Edith Durham, Victorian Traveler and Dress Collector in the Balkans

Philippa Mackenzie

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In 1900 Edith Durham followed medical advice to take an annual trip. She traveled to Montenegro, beginning an involvement with the Balkan peoples that lasted the rest of her life. In the next twenty years Durham traveled widely through areas broadly comprising the former Yugoslavia. She documents her early travels in her first book, Through the Lands of the Serb (1904). She was asked to undertake relief work in Macedonia in the winter of 1903–1904. The political situation was increasingly unstabl

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

Historical Evidence: Korea

Seongsil Park

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

Encyclopedia entry

Chinese neo-Confucianism was adopted by Emperor Taejo (1335–1408), the founder of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). Society, including dress, was carefully regulated. Members of the court were classified into nine ranks. Gwanbok, or official dress, included separate wardrobes for court ceremonials, religious rites, and official and ordinary work, and there were rigorous sumptuary laws. In addition to pictorial and written documentation, there are numerous examples of garments and accessories as evi

Sources of Information about Dress in Southwest Asia

Tineke Rooijakkers

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

Encyclopedia entry

Information on dress in Southwest Asia (also referred to as the Middle East or the Near East) is derived from both primary evidence, such as actual textiles and garments or tools for textile production, and secondary evidence, which includes textual and pictographic sources. Textual sources incorporate not only written references to dress in prose or poetry but also laws, trade accounts, inventories, wedding contracts, travelogues, and so on. Depictions of dress can be found in paintings, frescoe

Regional Dress in Anatolia

Jennifer M. Scarce

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

Encyclopedia entry

The importance of dress as visible evidence of the wearer’s roles and responsibilities in both public and private domains (such as rank, profession, religious and ethnic identity, wealth, age, and marital and familial status) and, to a certain extent, personal taste within the limits of acceptable codes of behavior is an eloquent statement of the multicultural diversity of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, whose territories extended from Southeast Europe to Arab lands. Anatolia, the empire’s hinterland

Evidence about Dress of Indigenous People: Canadian Territory

Michèle Hayeur Smith

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

Encyclopedia entry

Studying dress archaeologically poses unique challenges. Preservation is a primary concern, as elements of dress involving hair, skin, and most fibers are usually absent. These limitations can be overcome through reference to other sources of dress-related data. Some types of sites are better suited than others for preserving archaeological information relevant to the study of dress. Mortuary sites tend to be more revealing than settlement sites, because elements of dress are frequently disposed

Central and Southwest Asian Dress Studies

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

As with many areas of academia, the study of dress is not homogeneous. Many individuals and groups throughout the world are working (and often working in isolation) in the field of Central and Southwest Asian dress. In particular, there are scholars in Iran, Turkey, and parts of the Arab world who have a vast knowledge of their regional forms of dress, but this knowledge, for various reasons, is not widely available. Ironically, although dress is one of the easiest ways to gain access to another

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

The Portrayal of Balkan Dress in Western Travel Books

Antonia Young

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Only a few Western travelers have focused specifically on the dress they encountered, and travel books generally devote a very small proportion of their texts and illustrations to clothes or national dress, often observing simply that they were “picturesque” or “colorful.” Most include at least one photograph of a woman in national dress, but without precise information. Many travel writers focused more on architecture, although this can include early dress depicted in frescoes, paintings, and th

Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Son: The Earl of Chesterfield

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

Book chapter

London, November the 8th, O. S. 1750.

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

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

The Renaissance Beard: Masculinity in Early Modern England

Will Fisher

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

Book chapter

This essay builds on Judith Butler's recent theoretical work in Bodies that Matter by suggesting that the sexual differences that “mattered” in early modern England are not exactly the same as those that “matter” today. In particular, it suggests that facial hair often conferred masculinity during the Renaissance: the beard made the man. The centrality of the beard is powerfully demonstrated by both portraits and theatrical practices. Indeed, virtually all men in portraits painted between the mid

The Economics of Clothing in the Late Seventeenth Century

N. B. Harte

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

Book chapter

It will not surprise any student of pre-industrial England that an attempt to apply Clapham's questions to the subject of clothing starts with Gregory King. Gregory King (1648–1712) is well known as one of the pioneers in the field of political arithmetic, as the statistical study of society was known from the late seventeenth century.D. V. Glass, ‘Two Papers on Gregory King’, in D. V. Glass and D. E. C. Eversley (eds), Population in History (1965), pp. 159–220; G. S. Holmes, ‘Gregory King and th

The Currency of Clothing

Ann Rosalind Jones and Peter Stallybrass

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

Book chapter

The Broker (skorning to bee called Vsurer) will lend none money, at ten in the hundred, vpon bond or securitie, but (for sooth) Sir if you will bring a pawne worth double the summe you desire, and make a bill of Sale, you shall haue halfe, or sometimes the third of the value thereof … Item, deliuered to Mistris Spendthrift vpon a bill of Sale, the first of Ianuarie, 1618, for a Taffata Peticote, a Beuer Hat, Gold Band, Yellow Feather,

Fashion – Jewellery: Marguerite De Ponty

Stéphane Mallarmé

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

Book chapter

Paris, 1 August 1874

Fashion: Marguerite De Ponty

Stéphane Mallarmé

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

Book chapter

Invisible Clothing

Philippe Perrot

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

Book chapter

Many maladies are caused by … corsets. Thin bodies, narrow shoulders. Out of four two are bones of some promise; one, bones which promise nothing; a fourth go to Nice with the consumption; another fourth will at twenty-six drag out six days of the seven in an invalid's chair.

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