29 July 2007

Source Materials...

A new feature...
There are numerous garby blogs out there. I am no longer singled out even by my focus on male costuming, which is a wonderful thing in my view. But I still wish to be singular and so I am growing the idea, moving into new categories, all still within my overall mission of improving the sort of historical costuming I see at ren faires and making it easier for the newbie to attire themselves appropriately the first time.

I have been whetting my arguments on fashion and attyre in the Northern Renaissance for some time in the whetstone of open debate. My opinions are fluid and my debating style tends to lean heavily to being able to back up what I say with references to primary sources, period texts and relevant paintings, manuscripts and bathroom wall graffiti if necessary. So from now on I shall begin regularly (as regularly as I post anything here) posting links to interesting period resources that many people either miss or are unaware of.

Period Fashion Critique
In particular, I love some of the period source material such as Stubbs and Holinshed where the set out the attyre of their time by complaining about it in their smug puritan manner. The following is from "Holinshed's Chronicles" which goes much farther afield than bitching about the perilous audacity of the Elizabethan tailor. He is cited by most as Shakespeare's main source of historical material for MacBeth and most of the Histories...

"An Englishman, endeavouring sometime to write of our attire, made sundry platforms for his purpose, supposing by some of them to find out one steadfast ground whereon to build the sum of his discourse. But in the end (like an orator long without exercise), when he saw what a difficult piece of work he had taken in hand, he gave over his travel, and only drew the picture of a naked man. Unto whom he gave a pair of shears in the one hand and a piece of cloth in the other, to the end he should shape his apparel after such fashion as himself liked, sith he could find no kind of garment that could please him any while together; and this he called an Englishman. Certes this writer (otherwise being a lewd popish hypocrite and ungracious priest) shewed himself herein not to be altogether void of judgment, sith the phantastical folly of our nation (even from the courtier to the carter) is such that no form of apparel liketh us longer than the first garment is in the wearing, if it continue so long, and be not laid aside to receive some other trinket newly devised by the fickle-headed tailors, who covet to have several tricks in cutting, thereby to draw fond customers to more expense of money."
Full E-text of this invaluable resource is available from www.gutenberg.org
Stubbes' harangues on Elizabethan fashion can be found in a well-organized format at www.elizabethancostume.net

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