Philobiblon: Party-time, 17th-century style

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Party-time, 17th-century style

Having spent the afternoon at the V&A, I can report on the perfect style for a party - perhaps now to see in 2007. It has recently acquired two spectacular pieces of 17th-century wear, now on display in the fashion section:





At the top is a women's jacket dated 1630-40. The colour is quite subdued - a soft beige (assuming this is original), which allows all of the focus to be on the spectacular silver thread embroidery. There must have been many, many hours of work in that - and really skilled work. No wonder clothing was so expensive.

The men's doublet is possibly even finer, dated 1650-65 - I'd reckon it must be after 1660; it has a definite Restoration look about it - foppish is hardly the word. The description says it is made of very fine Italian silk, woven with silver gilt thread.

(Apologies for the quality of the photos - the lighting is understandably dim.)

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