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Northern Renaissance Garments Analysis

A distinctive feature of the costume of Northern and Central Europe during the Renaissance were numerous Gothic elements. As in art, in clothes in Germany and France in the 15-16 centuries was also felt the influence of Gothic style.

German Renaissance garment of the 16th century had little in common with the simplicity and elegance of the Italian High Renaissance clothing. The sources of the German garment images can be paintings and drawings of that time: the Hermitage portrait of the Princess of Saxony by Lucas Cranach, or the female portraits by Rogier van der Weyden. A very good source can be the painting “Adoration of the Magi” by Hans Kulmbaha, which shows a good variety of costumes of that time, both of the rich bourgeoisie and their servants. It is necessary to point that both male and female garments were under the influence of numerous legislative caste restrictions, which to some extent created diversity in costumes. Although it should be noted that women tried constantly to violate those restrictions. (Ashelford, 1996)

Both male and female costume consisted of two parts. The upper part represented a narrow, tight-fitting bodice for women and “jacket” for men. The lower part of men’s clothing consisted of short pants, reaching to the knees, and stockings, while women wore wide skirts with lush trains.

In general, it can be concluded that the Nothern Renaissance garment had some differences from costumes of the Italy renaissance. However, the general trend was changes of fashion from simple to more complex, from primitive cut to more refined and elegant, with a large number of accessories in both male and female clothing.

The elements of Renaissance fashion, such as the silhouette of clothes, pomp and luxury finishes and decorations, “rich” fabrics like velvet and silk, are widely used even today. Renaissance style is represented in all samples of modern evening dresses, in the romantic style and classic costume. This can be explained by the fact that fashion of the Renaissance was simple and beautiful at the same time. And modern fashion often uses styles and ideas from past decades.

Works cited:

Ashelford, J. The Art of Dress: Clothes and Society, 1500-1914. Harry N. Abrams, 1996
Hilde John R. “The Rich History of Renaissance Clothing”. Web.
Kelly, Francis M. European Costume and Fashion 1490-1790. Dover, 2002
Rothstein, N. Four Hundred Years of Fashion. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1996.