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Shover, Edna Mann / Art in costume design: practical suggestions for those interested in art, sewing, history and literature

Chapter IX: The Renaissance,   pp. [121]-137 PDF (6.0 MB)

Page [121]

                  THE RENAISSANCE 
      "Costly thy habit as tby purse can buy, 
      But not expressed in fancy; 
        Rich not gaudy; 
        for the apparel oft proclaims the man"-Sbakespeare. 
    The great revival of learning and of art came at the beginning of 
the fifteenth century and the style, from that time to the modern, 
has been called the Renaissance. While Shakespeare was producing 
the wonderful dramas which were to make the name of England live 
forever; while the artists Michael Angelo and Raphael were painting 
the Sistine Madonna and the magnificent frescoes in the Sistine 
Chapel in Italy; the rulers and the women of France were engaged 
in creating or encouraging the making of designs and new fashions 
in garments and household decorations. So extensive were the plans, 
and so artfully were the ideas executed, that the designers of the 
nineteenth century were confronted with the popular opinion that 
there was "nothing new under the sun." It may be truly said that
during the Renaissance, Paris selected from all previous ages the 
designs which best suited her fastidious people, wove these in with her 
own ideas, and planned the fashions for all the world for more than 
two centuries to come. The Parisian people were quick to adopt new 
styles. They loved variety and their daring combinations of color, 
and their fantastic shapes and oddities in dress have won for them the 
scepter of the world of fashion. They were not afraid to try new things 
nor did they care for expense, for their appearance was of great 
importance; how to make a good impression and how to be pleasing 
in manner were most essential. So clever were both the men and 
the women of Paris in their style of dress, so charming in their way 
of entertaining, that to the present time the very word "Parisian"
been enough to turn woman's heart cold with envy. 

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