Just opened, this exhibition at the wonderful Morgan Library New York explores the evolution of fashionable clothing in Northern Europe—from the fashion revolution of the early 14th century to the dawn of the Renaissance. Drawing on over 50 illuminated medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and early printed books, the role of social customs, cultural influences, and politics—such as the Hundred Years' War, the occupation of Paris by the English, and the arrival of the Italian Renaissance—in shaping fashion is examined. Importatn, too is how artists used clothing and costume as codes to help viewers interpret an image. In these works of art, what people wear is a clue to their identities and moral characters. To dramatize these fashions, four recreated ensembles replicating clothing depicted in the exhibition will be on view. The garments were made using period hand-sewing techniques and authentic materials—including silk velvet, gold brocade, linen, straw, and ermine. The exhibition is generously underwritten by a gift in memory of Melvin R. Seiden, and by a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Major support is provided by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., with additional assistance from the van Buren family in memory of Dr. Anne H. van Buren, and from the Janine Luke and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Exhibitions and Publications.
A splendid catalogue of the exhibition is available and you can order direct from the library - the extra dollars you spend with the library are an important source of funding for them, so do buy direct if you can. If that is impossible for you, then the catalogue can also be obtained through Amazon.