HENRY VIII’S DECORATIVE SLASHING AND MODERN DECONSTRUCTION

by admin on April 15, 2011

 

 

21st century slashing

henri viii with slashed doublet

until esme started her fashion history class, she had assumed that the idea of deconstructed clothing (you know, raw edges, exposed seams, distressed fabrics, slashes and holes) was entirely 21st century.  i mean, can you imagine elizabethans going around in torn-up tops with their underwear showing?  come to find out that that is exactly what they did!  in the 1500’s decorative slashings or panes became very fashionable, especially among the nobility.  there is a marvelous picture of king henry viii in a heavily slashed embroidered gold and red doublet through which puffs of his white shirt are pulled for dramatic effect.

lore has it that this style originated when the swiss army returned victorious but chilly from a looting operation.  in order to keep warm, the soldiers stuffed looted silk fabrics under their torn uniforms for warmth and easy portability.  the fine and colorful fabrics stuck out through the holes in their clothing and thus:  accidental deconstruction associated with victory and dominance!

esme is here to tell you that, when it comes to fashion, the amount of studying and learning and accumulating of knowledge there is to do (not to even speak of analyzing) is positively overwhelming!  esme is beginning to regret that she got such a late-in-life start on the whole business!

anyway, here is a wonderful example of modern slashing, found on a manikin in carmel’s stephan-cori.  when i showed this photo to my fashion teacher, she wanted one asap!  the only detail lacking for a really renaissance feel would be to pull the white shirt through the slashings in little puffs.  hmmmm….maybe i’ll try it!

constructively deconstructing,

esme

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