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Anslow, Florence / Practical millinery

Chapter I: The history of millinery,   pp. 1-24 PDF (5.1 MB)

Page 1

                         CHAPTER I 
N millinery, as in everything else, " there is nothing new under 
    the sun." Fashions change, materials alter, seemingly fresh 
trickeries come and go. But they are modifications of ancient 
headwear that has owed its being first to necessity, and its sur- 
vival usually to vanity. Women in the dim past found it neces- 
sary to protect their heads from sun and rain. Taking the nearest 
thing to hand, they threw over their heads a cloth, or couvre-chef 
as the Normans called it, drawing it down well on to the fore- 
head, and leaving it short at the sides, and so deep at the back 
that in some cases it rested like a mantle over the shoulders. 
The modern bridal and confirmation veils are clearly relics of 
this covering, which stood our Saxon and British forbears in 
good stead for more than a hundred years. 
   In the days beforý, and long after, the Norman Conquest, 
fashions changed extremely slowly, for the country was too 
disturbed for anyone to trouble seriously about their mode of 
dress. The great lady in the baronial castle was practically the 
only woman who had leisure to give to her clothes, and these she 
often embroidered sumptuously. But even she indulged in such 
stitchery only after she had worked an elaborate surcoat for her 
lord to wear over his armour, and a banner with his armorial 
bearings, which fluttered above him while she watched him from 
the castle walls ride out with his followers to the wars. While 
the men were away she would have little leisure to give to her- 
dress, and probably less heart. As travelling was slow then, it 
might be months before the warriors returned, and new clothes 

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