From Renaissance fairs to countless retellings of the legend of Robin Hood to the popular restaurant Medieval Times, people remain fascinated by the medieval era—and in particular the clothing of the time. The richly varied dress of medieval days meant more than just fashion and style, and Margaret Scott offers here an insightful chronicle of the layered meanings of the garb worn by queens, kings, courtiers, and peasants.
Scott draws upon the vibrant illuminated manuscripts of the era to analyze the beautiful design and functionality of medieval clothing. Fascinating changes mark the development of medieval fashion, such as the transition in men’s grooming from wearing beards and long hair to being clean-shaven with short hair; the rise in women’s fashion in the fourteenth century as a method of securing a husband; and the various types of jewelry, fabric, and subtle garment fittings that managed to convey the important distinctions between the upper class and the peasantry. Such distinctions, Scott reveals, were enforced by intricate and strict laws passed in countries throughout Europe that governed the color, styles, and number of a citizen’s garments according to their career, social class, and even the times of year. Political and religious history were also critical factors, Medieval Dress and Fashion shows, as the book draws from first-hand accounts to analyze how pivotal historical moments such as the Crusades and the fall of the Roman Empire resulted in an unexpected blending of cultures and clothing styles.
Whether their interest lies in class or corsets, readers curious about the costumes of the past will be charmed by Margaret Scott’s lively and engaging book.
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Margaret Scott is head of the history of dress at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and a consultant on historical dress for the National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other museums. She is also the author of Late Gothic Europe, 1400–1500 and A Visual History of Costume.Review:
"The book is lavishly illustrated . . . and written in an easy-to-read style through which Scott's enthusiasm for her subject shines." (Library Journal)
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Book Description British Library, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110712306757
Book Description British Library. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0712306757 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0359358