2011 03 Wedding Inspiration Orange Lemon Lime

Through the 16th century the Spanish empire was the richest and most powerful; it began to wane in the early 17th century as the French became more dominant. This was an age of conquests, exploration, and expansion into the Americas, following Columbus’s arrival in 1492. Other explorers ventured around the world opening up sea trading routes around Africa and Asia, crossing the Pacific and discovering new goods to bring back to Europe. Dominant personalities New realism and naturalism in painting meant that portraits were much more realistic and could accurately represent individuals and their clothes.

 

Dominant personalities in Europe—Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in England, Philip II in Spain, François I and Henry IV in France, the de’Medici dynasty in Florence, and Suleiman the Magnificent in the Ottoman empire—reinforced their position with strong visuals in paintings that portrayed them in fashionable clothes. Ruffs, in particular, became popular. The starching process stiffened cloth and allowed the development of very wide ruffs, and lace became the most luxurious textile to own. In the late 16th century heeled shoes were invented.

 

MEDIEVAL ROMANCE AND TRADE 600–1449. Throughout this period clothes for most people were very simple, based on little more than two draped rectangles sewn into a tunic. Tunics and cloaks were made of wool and linen, though leather and furs were also worn, especially in the colder northern regions of Europe. Silk was an extremely expensive item throughout the medieval era.