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ELIZABETHAN DESIGN

'Fashion' is a relative term. To few, it means the best of designer wear and to others it means carrying off a street shirt in the best possible way. Now trends change at the drop of a hat but there are a few that become classics. My blog covers these milestone styles!

Elizabethan pattern is a valued treasure from the past. The flowing design, the curves, the broken lines and curled edges all together form the Pandora's Box. The Elizabethan style comprised of the purest form of ornamentation; fashion in the eighteenth century was conservative and simple. I remember reading an article sometime back that in the Elizabethan period there was a law stating that the curves, the lines and the pattern used on the Queen's apparel would be exclusive and anyone wearing something which even resembles the pattern would be punished by law! Thus it would not be wrong if we say that fashion in that era was indeed grand but was not meant for the masses. The Elizabethan Sumptuary Clothing Laws were used to ensure that a specific class structure was maintained and the penalties for violating it could be harsh!!
 
Contrary to the primitive ages, fashion in the twenty-first century is meant for both the class and the mass. We wear it... we live it... and we change it according to our will. When I think of a reflection of eighteenth century fashion in our times there are a few things that come to mind. The first from the ornate box of fashion of eighteenth century is pattern prints. Prints were popular then and is now too... and a recurring print is floral. Since the Elizabethan era flowers have been portrayed in apparel be it an ivory brocade wedding dress with a pattern of irises or a silk dress embellished with tulips and cornflowers or a summer dress splashed with orange chrysanthemums. Till date there is an explosion of florals on the runways... and abstract floral-print dresses or floral statement jewellery are just the tip of the iceberg!
 
Next up is drapes. Draping is a style that has influenced us through the years. Elaborate draping "à la polonaise" became fashionable by the mid 1770s... featuring backs of the gowns' skirts pulled up into swags either through loops or through the pocket slits of the gown. Today too whether it is a sari or evening gown, draping plays a key role in fashion. It is chic, fashionable and comfortable... and visually it lends a glamorous look. These were few examples of how we still relive our past and cherish the wonderful historical designs in our present. Hope you enjoyed reading it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
23-MAY-2012
 
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