The Book of Historic Fashion: A Newcomer's Guide to Medieval Clothing (1300 - 1450) by Nicole Allen
The Late Middle Ages (c.1350 - 1500) provides us with many of our stock, childhood images of the 'Middle Ages': the knight in shining armour, the joust, lords and ladies dressed in rich, voluminous robes and elegant dresses. Yet it is a paradox, for at the start of the period, Europe had endured the worst pandemic of recorded history: the Black Death, the climate was rapidly cooling, causing massive crop failures and France and England were locked in the brutal, dynastic struggle of the Hundred Years War. Meanwhile, in the second half of the period, intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe, seeking new wealth in Asia and Africa, and launching what has been called the 'Age of Discovery' while a new interest in Classical culture would give birth to the Renaissance.
All of these elements have long intrigued and inspired writers, researchers and reenactors to take a trip through the looking glass to this lost world. In the Book of Historic Fashion: A Newcomer's Guide to Medieval Clothing (1300 - 1450), authors Allen and Mele provide a visual snap shot of the courtly elegance and common wear of the period. Filled with hundreds of sketches taken from original sources, mechanical drawings and detailed 'layer drawings' demonstrating how the clothing was worn, this entree both introduces the period and helps newcomers find their way forward in the study of primary and secondary sources. Whether you are a teacher or professor who wants your students to understand what the clothing of the day really looked like, a costume designers working in theater, TV and film looking for visual reference or just new to medieval reenacting who wants guidance on what to wear in order to be appropriately dressed at events, this volume is for you.