Thursday 5 December 2013

European women's fashion, 1650-1700, an overview

The last half of the 17th century. This is an overview to cover popular styles, not a complete record of every particular fashion. For those who has missed the gentlemen, their turn will come.

In the late 1640's this style became popular and kept it popularity for several decades. It had a boned bodice, omitting the need for separate stays, a neckline that showed the shoulders and large puffed sleeves that could en under the elbow or be quite short. The bodice could be plain or heavily decorated. Most seem to have been laced in the back and worn with a matching petticoat, although some Dutch painting depict bodices and petticoats of different colours. The petticoat could also be split in front.
Eleonora Katarina of Pzalz-Zweibrücken, Princess of Sweden, unknown artist, 1640's, Skokloster castle

Woman washing her hands by Noortman Maastricht, 1957
In the 1650's the low-cut neckline could be hidden underneath a collar that covered collarbones, shoulders and the upper sleeve.
Jeanne Parmentier by Bartholomeus van der Helst, 1656
Riding habits were cut to mimic men's fashion in the coat, but worn with petticoats.
Kristina, Queen of Sweden by Sébastien Bourdon, 1653
Marie-Anne Mancin, Madame La Duchesse De Bouillon by Joseph Parrocel, 1670's

In the 16th century ladies opted to be painted in their most fashionable clothes, in the early 17th century it became fashionable to wear more relaxed clothing and the natural progression was, perhaps,  to be portrayed into fantasy clothing. That was what became popular anyway and Sir Peter Levy really cemented that trend in the 1660's with painting women wearing artistically draped fabrics, probably all along aiming to frustrate costume nerds in the future, and this remained popular for the rest of the 17th century.

Diane Kirke, Countess of Oxford by Sir Peter Lely, 1665
It was also fashionable to be painted in a night gown, a gown meant for leisure at home. It was usually cut along the same lines of the current fashion, but was more unstructured and worn without stays. It was usually fastened at the front by spaced buttons or clasps.
Kristina Drysenia by Martin Hannibal or daniel strahl, 1690
Dutch paintings from the mid-17th century often depicts women wearing a loose fur-lined jacket, but this seem to have been a fashion for the region. Numerous paintings by several different artists makes it an icongraphic garment nevertheless.
The Letter by Gerard ter Borch, 1655

Though rarely seen on portraits, the mantua came into fashion in the 1670's. It originated from a T-shaped garment meant for leisure, but though it was pleated in folds around the body, it was soon worn with stays, making it an altogether more structured garment than a night gown and soon worn for occasions that didn't call for the rigid bodice of a grand habit. The mantua was rarely painted, but can be found on numerous fashions plates. By the end of the 17th century it had stepped up and could be worn both for everyday activities as well as balls.
Late 17th century mantua for court

In Spain the farthingale grew larger and larger, biding it's time until the 18th century when it would, once again, take the rest of Europe by storm as the panier.
Doña Francisca de Velasco, Marquesa de Santa Cruz by Juan Carreño de Miranda, 1665-1670


Augustintytär said...

I'm coveting that Eleonora Katarina's dress! That's 1640's at it's best to me.

Gabriela Salvador said...

Ohh Spain, always going your own way...and confusing historical costumers was definitely a goal of theirs! I can imagine them laughing about it over dinner...

Isis said...

Merja: Yes, i want it too! It is a bad painting, but the dress is so pretty!

Isis said...

Gabriela: So can I! :D

Unknown said...

I love the Spanish pannier. I think because I get bored seeing the same clothes over and over in portraits from the rest of Europe. Thanks for the post

Isis said...

Lisa Ann: I don't get bored, but I love them anyway. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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