Thursday, June 20, 2013

Renaissance Clothing: It's A Complicated Thing?


When you think of the Renaissance, is the first thing that comes to mind fashion…style…? Probably not (unless you’re a Renaissance expert then that’s just not fair). While researching what my costume for the Much Ado About Sebastopol Renaissance Faire would look like, I came across some interesting styling information so I can enter the town of Fenford in 16th century England like a pro (and maybe a queen too). Here’s what I found:

Green- the color of love which became popular among courtiers.
Gray- the color of sorrow, mostly worn when mourning or attending a funeral.
Yellow- the color of hostility (this one surprised me because yellow makes me happy).
Blue- the color of fidelity (did this mean they could always tell who the cheaters and thieves were?)

However it’s no surprise that certain colors and fabrics also represented which social class you belonged to. The reds of the color spectrum were worn by royalty and usually accompanied silk, cotton, or velvet material. Blacks, grays and fabrics such as flax and wool denoted people who were members of a low social class. I wonder if there were 2 different grays; one for mourning and one for being poor? That could get confusing.

Renaissaince wear  became much more decorated around the late 1400’s. Designers used heavier materials which resulted in puffier sleeves. Some countries even added their own touch to the ensemble. The northern European countries wore padded sleeves while the Germans decorated everything in feathers.

Sounds pretty fun, huh? Well I can give you an excuse to show off your favorite Renaissance attire (and the mood you’re in that day). Make plans to attend Much Ado About Sebastopol’s very special harvest Renaissance Faire September 14 & 15 at Ives Park. This educational fundraiser will allow the whole family to experience first-hand what it was like to live in the renaissance with authentic food and entertainment.

Free instructions and patterns to make your own Renaissance outfit are available as June’s Monthly Favor at the Much Ado About Sebastopol website.

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