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The Renaissance In Spain Essay, Research Paper

The Renaissance in Spain

When the new colonies were formed in the New World, it brought a great deal of wealth and prosperity to Spain. The immense resources in North and South America were being exploited; this trade was controlled from the Iberian Peninsula. Charles of Spain, later became Emperor Charles, took over an empire including Africa, America, and Asia. ?He set up a colonial administration in the New World and his son Philip II developed into a comprehensive system? (Doreen Yardwood 24). After England defeated Spain in the Armada, Spanish power began to decline. The Spanish dominated costume and dress during this time. At this period, costume was elaborate and luxurious. The 16th century never surpassed because of embroidery, jeweled fabrics, laces, ruffs, collars, and perfume and powder. Europe had special trades; craftsmen made fabrics decorated them, and tailored them to perfection.

Spanish dress and costume was characterized by elegance. Spain introduced the ruff, farthingale, cape and corset. These items were made more popular by the English, German, Dutch, and French dress.

The Spanish usually wore the color black for normal wear. For festive and important occasions they wore bright colors. Garments were made from heavy, rich fabrics like velvet and satin. They were decorated with black or white silk, and gold or silver thread with pearls and jewels. The Moorish inspired the beauty of textiles, for example, motifs, embroideries, jewels, girdles, and buttons. The Roman Catholic Church and Spanish court influenced the constriction of whaleboned and basted costume. These garments were not comfortable to wear. When women wore a farthingale and a corset, it caused them to walk with perfect posture in a dignified way, instead of natural movement. The Spanish introduced padding. The ideal Spanish figure in the Renaissance period was slim, and both men and women wore corsets to look slim.

The usual squared-shaped masculine figure of the 1530?s began disappearing. In 1550, Spanish men?s figure had a slim waistline, pointed in the front with narrow basques. The sleeves were fitted and long; they ended at the shoulders in picadils. The neckline was higher and more elegant with a white shirt under trimmed with a collar or a ruffle. Later, the ruffle developed into a separate larger ruff, which is a characteristic of the 16th century.

The Spanish hose was designed in two parts-the upper and lower parts. The upper part consisted of a trunk hose and a full paned; below, the stockings were fitted. The codpiece remained in use for most of the century. Capes and cloaks were traditional in Spain, then became high fashion everywhere. They varied in size, style, material, and decoration; they could be worn in many different ways. Capes and cloaks could be worn slung round one shoulder or both, hung by the fastening cords or just draped over the arm, some had collars. Luxurious fabrics contrasted in color, decoration, and material.

Men?s hairstyle neat and clean-cut, moustaches were small and beards were pointed. Men also wore square-toed shoes. Women were dressed tastefully with a slim elegance. They wore a linen corset under a fitted bodice. Under the gown, they wore a farthingale to maintain a cone shape. The necklines were high with little embroidery or a lace-edged ruff. The sleeves were in two parts-inner and outer. The inner sleeve was long and fitting and the outer sleeve was detachable and drapable; it was clasped and hung behind the arm.

I chose to do this costume history research paper on Spanish Renaissance costume because I love the way the dress was so elaborate in that period. I designed my own Spanish Renaissance dress, which is displayed on the cover of this research paper. I illustrated the model wearing an elegant dress meant for use at a special occasion. The dress has a combination of hunter green, gold. She is wearing a farthingale underneath the hunter green and gold gown. The ruff is white along with the satin lining. The sleeves of the gown are clasped on the tan undergown. She is wearing her hair up in an elegant style. This achieves the look of the Spanish Renaissance costume.

and Annotations

Cassin-Scott, Jack. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Costume and Fashion 1550-1920.

Poole: Blandford Press, 1971. Pages 9-20.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Costume and Fashion is a great source for costume study because it provides information on a wide range of fashion topics. It includes 180 colored illustrations and descriptions. It is very valuable to anyone interested in the arts.

This book is a wonderful source to look up extra information on the Spanish Renaissance. It also provided me with illustrations so that I could get the idea of how dress was back then.

D?Assailly, Gisele. Ages of Elegance: Five Thousand Years of Fashion and Frivolity.

New York: Hachette, 1968.

Davenport, Millia. The Book of Costume History. New York: Crown Publishers Inc.,

1976. Pages 361-366, 455-456.

The Book of Costume History is a wonderful source which provides detailed information. It covers many areas of dress through the ages.

It is also organized like an encyclopedia which makes it easy to navigate through different subjects.

This book helped me with information on the Spanish influence on the Renaissance. It also provided me with detailed illustrations and captions.

Lister, Margot. Costume: An Illustrated Survey from Ancient Times to the 20th Century.

Boston: Plays, Inc., 1968. Pages 141-167.

Racinet, Albert. The Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes. New York: Facts on File

Publications, 1988. Pages 141, 190, 290.

The Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes is a wonderful fashion source. It includes quality illustrations on dress through out the ages. It is filled with detailed information about different periods of dress. It also includes information on many different ages through out history.

This source includes valuable information on the Spanish influence on the Renaissance. It has complete sections on Spain and detailed illustrations.

Selbie, Robert. The Anatomy of Costume. New York: Crescent Books, 1977.

Tortora, Phyllis, and Keith Eubank. Survey of Historic Costume: Second Edition. New

York: Fairchild Publications, 1994.

Tortora, Phyllis, and Keith Eubank. Survey of Historic Costume: Third Edition. New

York: Fairchild Publications, 1998.

The Survey of Historic Costume talks about dress in the Western World from ancient dress until the 1990?s. It has information on women, men, and children?s dress. This book also includes illustrations on a wide variety of dress through the ages.

It was helpful providing me with information on Spain during the Renaissance. It also talked about the Spanish influence on Renaissance costume. It provided information on the Spanish farthingale.

Yardwood, Doreen. Fashion in the Western World: 1500-1990. New York: Drama Book

Publishers, 1992. Page 18.

Fashion in the Western World: 1500-1990 provides detailed illustrations of many periods of dress in the Western World. It also speaks about the developments in the technology of manufacturing fabrics and garments.

It provided me with detailed illustration of Spanish dress during the Renaissance. It also spoke about Spanish influence on the Renaissance. This book was very helpful in my research.

Wilcox, Turner. The Mode in Costume. New York: Charles Scribner?s Sons, 1958.

The Mode in Costume is another great fashion source because it includes a variety of information. It includes illustrations, information regarding origin, actual dates, fabrics, colors, and accessories.

This source includes three complete chapters on Spain. It includes precise illustrations on Spanish dress during the Renaissance. This book also includes detailed information on several different types of garments.


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