Elizabethen fashain Essay

This essay has a total of 1988 words and 8 pages.


elizabethen fashain





Elizabethan Fashion
By: Anonymous

The Elizabethan Era was a time that reflect the mood and values of the 16th
century though the use of fashion. It was a period in which a lot of originality
and creativity was evident was used to create new styles of dress (Black &
Garland 16). The Fashion in Elizabethan England at this time reflected the
values and Ideals of the era. It was an Era that based everything on the Great
Chain Of Being; which was a concept that everyone had a position in the
social standings of society that was given to him or her by God (Leed 1). The
citizens in England during the 16th century had their ordered stations in life,
and their clothing reflected who they were in society. Society was broken up
into three major categories; peasants, middle class and nobles. If your
clothing reflected the status of a different class then yours, you would be fined
under Sumptuary Laws (Leed 1). Elizabethan Society was a society very
different from today, but like today, the fashion reflected the mood and
influences on society. The Fashion that was displayed in Elizabethan England
was shaped by the impacts of Queen Elizabeth, the Spanish influence,
Christopher Columbus, their desires for youth and beauty, and the strict
social order. With these five influences the difference of the style of clothing
worn in upper and lower class society stood out. The wealthy were able to
afford the luxurious items the new founding in the world brought with it. The
foreign look was the look that society wanted to achieve during the
Elizabethan era, for it reflected the values of Queen Elizabeth, who happened
to be the ideal women of the era. Things that are not controllable sometimes
have an influence on society that is not expected. One effect that should have
been expected was that Queen Elizabeth would have an impacted on the
society that she gave her name to. The one thing that wasn't expected
however was the extent to which Queen Elizabeth would influence fashion.
Queen Elizabeth was passionate about fashion and she spread her love for it
through out the kingdom. One of Queen Elizabeth's talents was her ability to
use any situation to her political advantage (Boucher 17). She wanted to be
seen as a person with power and capability and she thought rich cloths would
help obtain that opinion. The rich fabrics and jewels displayed incredible
wealth, power and prestige (Leed 1). Wealth and power were not the only
thing Queen Elizabeth achieved with her wardrobe. She had a great fondness
for foreign dress and this had an incredible impact on English fashion of the
times. England admired Queen Elizabeth's style and tried to imitate it to their
ability. She set the stance for what fashion should be, and most upper class
women followed her lead. This gave Queen Elizabeth the ability to create a
piece of fashion that would always be associated with her era. The Spanish
farthingale belonged to Katherine of Aragon, even though it was
predominantly scene through out the 16th century, but the Ruff belonged to
her (Contini 130). She made them a masterpiece of the own making them
higher and larger. She had the technological advances she needed in order to
give her era the credit it desired for the advances she made in fashion.
England became the country know for its lace making, and the invention of
starch helped her achieve great height on her ruffs. By the time of Queen
Elizabeth's death, the look of fashion had changes entirely. The Tudor style
had disappeared and the International look had arrived. Queen Elizabeth paid
great attention to detail in every item she wore. She consulted many designers
and sent patterns all over Europe in order to have outfits that reflected the
whole of Europe and gave her an incredible sense of power. Queen Elizabeth
started the fixation with foreign items. She had a great effect on Elizabethan
England, for not only was the style of fashion named after her, but she also
set the presence for what the rest of the society wanted. She was the center
of attention and everyone wanted to be like her to their capability, for she
knew fashion, and how to extenuate it with foreign items, and jewels.
Exploration is a powerful thing. The fashion of the 16th century reflected the
great interest in travel and exploration as a result of Christopher Columbus
and his sailing the ocean blue. It was an era that dedicated itself to the search
of new markets and raw materials, with the goal of new exotic modes of
dress in mind (Tortora & Eubank 126). Christopher Columbus's founding's
left the world curious, especially England. England had a new interest in
finding new materials and methods that they never desired before. If an item
was new, it was valuable and wanted by many. Through the 16th century,
Spanish fashion was individualized and people liked that. The drastic spread
of Spanish costume through Europe came from the prestige the Spaniards
gained from the discoveries of Christopher Columbus who, although did not
find an immediate sea route to transport silk, recognized the immerse flow of
precious metals from the Americans to Spain (Boucher 131). This gave
Elizabethans a sense of pride that they could be different but still fashionable.
This is why England was infatuated with it. But nonetheless the Spanish style
was not a style of its own. It had gone through many influences itself. It had
taken traits form other countries like Germany France and Italy and
combined it together to make a style that everybody wanted. Spain had
incorporated haberdashery from Venice and Germany, Gems and combs
from France, fine linen form Flanders, and velvet or Milanese gold thread
form Italy (Leed 3). They had taken every countries style and created the
ideal foreign style that was greatly desired at this time as a result of
Christopher Columbus. This style appealed to Queen Elizabeth and therefore
the rest of the Elizabethan society wanted it. Because of the cost of importing,
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