Well Heeled

There is a legend that high heeled shoes were invented by a beautiful, young, vertically challenged girl who was fed up with always being kissed on the forehead. So – she decided to raise herself three inches. Clever girl!

 

The high heel got its real launch in 16th century France when a petite young Italian woman went to Paris to marry Henri II. Catherine de Medici’s trousseau included several pairs of high heeled shoes that had been designed by an Italian artisan to make her look taller and sexier. The fashion caught on very quickly and high heels became such a status symbol that ‘commoners’ were banned from wearing them. Hence the phrase ‘well-heeled.’

Walking became an art in 16th century Europe. The hips had to move so that the hooped skirt would swing backwards and forwards. Ladies also learned to lift their skirts just high enough to show the silk stocking and well-heeled foot.

 

Mount on French heels when you go to a ball –

‘Tis the fashion to totter and show you can fall

In the Virgin Queen’s Black & White World

Following on from the previous post written about a year ago (!) I’ve been reading again about textile history and was struck by the fact that if we could walk into the court of Elizabeth the First, we’d be slightly taken aback by the colours of the courtiers’ clothes.

The Queen’s preferred colours were ‘constant’ black and ‘virgin’ white.

The court followed the Queen in her choice of colours.

A survey was done of 101 male courtiers in Elizabethan portraits. 73% of the young men were dressed in white/light colours and 70% of the older men in black.

This may have had something to do with the fact that English dyers had much less knowledge of, and access to, dyes and dyestuffs than the rest of continental Europe.

It may be because of the notion that bright colours masked bad smells…

From a 1603 text Vertue’s Commonwealth – ‘in whomsoever such outward vanitie appears, it is a sure token there is a stinking puddle of vainglory within.’

Or it may be the symbolism of pure, virgin white and constant, solemn black that Elizabeth herself so knowingly used.

17th Century Textile Colours

henrietta_maria_van_dyck_1633
PANSY FLOWERING; RAYFLAX BLUE; SUMMER BLUE; ROYAL BLUE; TURQUOISE; WATER COLOUR; PALE BLUE; BEAN BLUE; PASTEL;
~
~
DAWN; CORAL; PEACH BLOSSOM; PALE YELLOW;GOLDEN YELLOW; CANARY;SULPHUR ;
~

~

WILLOW GREEN; BUDDING GREEN; BRIGHT GREEN; BOTTLE GREEN; SEA GREEN; VERDIGRIS; GOSLING GREEN;

~

~
GREY; DOVE; ARGENT; PEARL GREY; SLATE, PIGEON; SILVER GREY; CRYSTALLINE;
~

~

REDDISH PURPLE;BRIGHT RED; AMARANTH; CARNATION; RUSSETT; SCARLET; OX BLOOD; ORANGE; NONAIN – ROSY WHITE.

~

~

And colours to try and get our minds around.
I’ll have a go…
I love the idea of SICK SPANIARD – a yellowy olive?
JUDAS COLOUR- Silver?
TEMPS PERDU- I see this as a pale violet?
ANGRY MONKEY- Is red brown too obvious?
APE’S LAUGH- Again, a reddy colour. But only if they were always being pedantic?
RESURRECTION – Oh Gawd! A blue-grey????
KISS ME DARLING – Pale pink, maybe.
MORAL SIN – Love this. A deep, vibrant, singing red?
TRISTAMI – Sorry, can only think of pepparami here. Oops!
SCRATCH FACE – Purpley (if there’s such a word)?
SMOKED OX HAM COLOUR – Pinky, purpley (if it’s not a word, it should be!)
LOVE LONGINGS – Help!
CHIMNEY SWEEP – Too obvious????
FADING FLOWER – Mmmn. Pastel. Maybe like ashes of roses?
DYING MONKEY – Black, brown….ish?
MERRY WIDOW – Deep Purple – nearly black but not quite?

17th Century Textile Colours

One of my first ever research projects was on 17th century costume.
I got a beautiful old, old costume book from the library and much to my disgust – I can’t remember the name of it.
Anyway – from that book I made a note of the names used for textile colours in that era.
They are so evocative and always set the imagination running.
henrietta_maria_van_dyck_1633
PANSY FLOWERING; RAYFLAX BLUE; SUMMER BLUE; ROYAL BLUE; TURQUOISE; WATER COLOUR; PALE BLUE; BEAN BLUE; PASTEL;
~
~
DAWN; CORAL; PEACH BLOSSOM; PALE YELLOW; GOLDEN YELLOW; CANARY; SULPHUR ;
~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ~

WILLOW GREEN; BUDDING GREEN; BRIGHT GREEN; BOTTLE GREEN; SEA GREEN; VERDIGRIS; GOSLING GREEN;

~

~
GREY; DOVE; ARGENT; PEARL GREY; SLATE, PIGEON; SILVER GREY; CRYSTALLINE;
~




 

 ~

REDDISH PURPLE;BRIGHT RED; AMARANTH; CARNATION; RUSSETT; SCARLET; OX BLOOD; ORANGE; NONAIN – ROSY WHITE.

 ~

 

 

 

 

 

 ~

And colours to try and get our minds around.
I’ll have a go…
I love the idea of SICK SPANIARDa yellowy olive.
JUDAS COLOUR- Silver.
TEMPS PERDU- I see this as a pale violet.
ANGRY MONKEY- Is red brown too obvious?
APE’S LAUGH- Again, a reddy colour. But only if they were always being pedantic
RESURRECTION – Oh Gawd! A blue-grey????
KISS ME DARLING – Pale pink, maybe.
MORAL SIN – Love this. A deep, vibrant, singing red.
TRISTAMI – Sorry, can only think of pepparami here. Oops.
SCRATCH FACE – Purpley (if there’s such a word)
SMOKED OX HAM COLOUR – Pinky, purpley (if it’s not a word, it should be!)
LOVE LONGINGS – Help!
CHIMNEY SWEEP – Too obvious????
FADING FLOWER – Mmmn. Pastel. Maybe like ashes of roses.
DYING MONKEY – Black, brown….ish
MERRY WIDOW – Deep Purple – nearly black but not quite.
~
I’d love to hear about your ideas :o)

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Did You know……?
That in the 17th century both James I and his son, Charles, set a precedent by wearing only felt and not beaver hats? Both were worried about the declining numbers of beaver in the UK!



Also…

Deforestation was a major cause for concern in both 17th century England and France.

And deforestation is still an issue!

Plus ça change!