In this German version of the round gown, the waistline is lower, while the embroidered band of the partlet remains unchanged in width and position. The wide opening of the bodice is laced over the white skirt below. Now skirts hang in heavy pleats. The long narrow sleeves are elaborately decorated with rows of slashing. Heavy gold chains are around the neck. In the middle of the century the wide hats and jeweled cauls disappear.
Before the sixteenth century dress is largely shaped by the body. Now, in a sudden about-face, it is shaped artificially. With the exception of one brief period, the artificial silhouette lasts through the nineteenth century. The Reformation court dress is shaped like a stiff cone. Details are formally balanced. Women move slowly and sedately, as if on wheels. The overall effect is architectural. Court dress is composed of separates. A steel corset flattens the body under the bodice. The fitted bodice has two underarm seams and is shaped to a V at the waist. The neckline is wide, square and arched across the front, emphasized by an edging of jewels or lace. Sometimes it is filled in with a partlet or plastron, usually in a contrasting fabric. The shape of the skirt is determined by a funnel-shaped hoop, the verdingale or farthingale, which is made of whale bone or iron straps. Layers of petticoats are placed over the hoop, and a shaped underskirt goes on top of the petticoats. The overskirt is cut and shaped to fit over the undergarments without wrinkles or folds. It is often open at the center front, revealing the underskirt which is lighter in color. When the overskirt is closed, trim emphasizes the center front edges. False oversleeves, looking like wide turned-back cuffs, are pinned to the sleeves of the bodice. The oversleeves are changeable. There are elbow length false undersleeves too. Decorated with jewels and applied puffs, they end at the wrist in small ruffles which fall over the hands. Other gowns include the round gown and a degraded form of the court houppelande. At this time differences in dress are more apparent by country.
Costume -- Europe -- History -- (LC) Painting -- Germany -- 16th century -- (YVRC)
costume (mode of fashion) (AAT) paintings (AAT)
Clothing & Accessories Paintings & Drawings
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Related Exhibit or Resource:
Reformation (Women): 1500-1550: Dress
Button, Jeanne and Sbarge, Stephen
History of Costume, In Slides, Notes and Commentaries: Volume 3
New York, NY Theatre Arts Slide Presentations 1975
GT513 +B87 3 (LC)
Visual Resources Collection
Visual Resources Collection
Berlin, Germany: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
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