The 17th century can be characterized as a transitional period that was full of contradictions and struggles, ending European feudalism and opening new capitalist relations. A deep political and economic crisis covered Spain and Italy.
Artistic culture of the XVII century was characterized by the emergence and flourishing of various national art schools in Italy, Flanders, Spain, France, Holland that reflected the peculiarities of historical development, the nature of social life and local conditions. The Baroque style was the most popular style with the crowds, replacing the art of the Renaissance.
Thus, this paper introduces the Baroque style dress. It presents economic, social, or political situations that made this style popular, technological advances occurred to make this style possible, and discusses what these styles could mean for modern times.
To start with, the Baroque style is European fashion of the XVI-XVIII centuries that was born in Italy, but brought to perfection by the French royal court. Kenyon emphasized that, in accordance with the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the term “Baroque” can be defined as “a rough pearl, etymology dubious” (105). During the reign of Louis XIV, the French royal court at Versailles dictated all the laws of fashion.
In addition, the production of apparel textiles began to acquire an industrial nature in the 17th century.
The main features of the Baroque style are monumentality, ornamentality, pompousness. The most appropriate word for the style of clothes is pomposity. It corresponds to a general desire to look formally, grandiosely and gallantly.
Today’s Baroque kept all these features, albeit in more simplified forms. Nowadays, if you want to dress in the style of Baroque, you do not need to sew a huge dress with a corset and a train. You can use all the traditional items: tops, short skirts and even jeans and t-shirts. But all the clothes have to be richly decorated. For this purpose, it is possible to use various thingies, laces, ribbons, straps, and bows.
Today’s overall tone of apparel must necessarily be “kingly”, solid, and conservative. This style has returned now because, on the one hand, classic is eternal, but on the other hand, this style, which embodies pomposity and gallantry, will be in demand with the public.
In conclusion, it is possible to sum up that the Baroque style tends to luxury and eccentricity. The costumes, consisting of many parts, long trains of dress, heavy velvet and heavy jewelries made of precious metals, high hairstyles and luxurious wigs – all these are distinctive features of the Baroque style.
Fargis, Paul. The New York Public Library Desk Reference (3rd ed.). New York: Macmillan General Reference, 1998.
Kenyon, Max. “Baroque.” The Musical Times 89.1262 (1948): 105-107.