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Did architectural styles have any similarities to the clothing forms or...

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yacel0762 | Valedictorian

Posted July 11, 2013 at 2:03 AM via web

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Did architectural styles have any similarities to the clothing forms or embellishments/motifs that existed during the Late Middle Ages?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 11, 2013 at 7:16 PM (Answer #1)

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A salient trait about the architectural style at the time of the Late Middle Ages is the adoption of a Pietical approach that would manifest mainly in cloisters, monasteries. This style entails a tendency to present ecclesiastical buildings with a façade of stained glass, curved details, the depiction of religious scenes and even astrological symbolism. 

It is precisely in the decoration, or better yet, in the excessive decoration that we see a similarity in motif that very well resonates with that of the fashion of the time. Being that this was a time for multiple experimentation with colors and shapes, it is no wonder that the same practices were applied to fashion.

This artistic tendency is quite salient. Scenes of daily life, religious beliefs, symbolism, love, and war are everywhere from cloisters, to castles to monasteries, and even in the interior of the average well-to-do home. Symbolism and emotion are evident in scenes on stained glass, embroidery, chivalric crests, family crests, and in the employment of such intrinsic designs in just about any material, from stone, to marble, to glass, to wood. 

Likewise, the influx of multiculturalism via Constantinople, the Italian states, China, and all the other new ports brought with it more variety to venture with in terms of design and application of detail. 

The influence of the environment undoubtedly marked the psyche of the community's new found artistic channels and applied what they saw around them to their own images. This is why the headgear is complicated; either curved and sometimes pointed. At times it is conical, vertical, or completely horizontal. This very much mirrors the experiments in architecture taking place at a time when LMA was embracing the Gothic, semi-chaotic and overexerted style. 

Just like tapestries, embroidery will also permeate the clothing, shoes, almsbags and any accessory of everyday life. Moreover, symbolism will also be evident in both architecture and in jewelry particularly in the use of stones and zodiac motifs that were thought to have supernatural powers. 

The basic similarity lies in the vast application of detail. As a rule, fashion tends to obey the signals of the environment. In a time of change and wonder it is clear that this was the case with the LMA community.

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