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Black dresses and ruff: the decline of Spanish costume

Analyzing fashion is about going back on time. For instance, between Spain and its colonies things were different.

The style of elite black dresses marked by Spain does strongly influence the courts of much of Europe during the period between 1550 and 1650, cementing its profile in the reign of Philip II, in clothes that reflect the concepts of own dignity and grace of the Spanish monarchy in a time of great prestige for Spain. In the early seventeenth century this influence begins to lose, except for Spain, because of the importance that the fashion of Versailles, which together with the Dutch, to a lesser extent, reaches across Europe.

Social protocols

It should be mentioned also the importance of this period in relation to that opens, from the social protocols, an era of civility and manners of delicacy that train the body in a logic of modesty, which translates into the importance of appearance. It is also during the second half of the seventeenth century costumes that have shown the fundamental characteristics of those who later referred to as costumes.

It's Philip II of Austria, who imposed the distinctive aspect of the Spanish fashion: color and black collar. Spain takes the costly dyestuffs from America to Europe to sell them and use them to color with black dresses shades and indelible niche genres. The logwood, for example, allows an intense black known as "raven", the same characteristic costume of this dynasty. This intense tone is in the dress of the kings of Spain during the next two centuries. On the other hand, the ruff, an invention of a tailor was born in Madrid to around 1623. It replaces the high collars of past trends. It is a stiff and curled round fitting around the entire neck sizes smaller than this are known as collars or equally. The ruff is a type of neck as previously described, but larger. These devices allow you to maintain dignified, stately and rigid are the symbol of the severity and adequacy of the Spanish, this accessory is replaced later by the neck-tie to the French.

The Spanish black dresses had meaning for all of Europe from the mid-sixteenth century to the middle of next century, a symbol of elegance and perfection in design and manufacture, which, however, puts the body structure as rigid as their standards of behavior. After a while, Paris starts to become the epicenter of art, culture and fashion of course, argues that the gallantry of the Spanish, reflected in his attire, began to feel like conceit and deceit.


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