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Black color in Fashion History

Black color in Fashion History. Lady with a fan. Diego Velazquez (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660)

Lady with a fan. Diego Velazquez (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660). Black color in Fashion History

Black color in Fashion History

The history of the emergence of black in fashion began from Spain, yes, precisely those Spaniards who are now associated with bright colors. For the first time black suit in the Spanish court entered in the XVI century, when the Spanish Inquisition reigned. Indeed, the Spaniards were religious, and their fanatical faith reflected in their black and closed costume. Their costumes were reminiscent of monastic robes. The only difference was luxurious puff collar of pure white color, creating contrast and supporting the head of nobleman to keep high. By the way, for the addiction to the black color, Spaniards in the other countries were called crows.

Black color in Fashion History

Diego Velazquez (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660) Self-portrait, c.1640. Black color in Fashion History

However, the black color in the clothes could afford only members of the nobility, the aristocracy, that is due to the cost of dyes. It was very expensive, and even the process of dyeing was complex, because in nature there is no truly black color. So, they dyed fabric in vats with different colors – yellow, red, and blue. But that all changed in the XVII century.

The first Spanish ships returning from the New World, brought log wood or Campeche, which was a good ingredient for the black and red colors. Common names of this tree – blue sandalwood, black Brazilian wood, and West Indies bloody tree. Its wood has a blood-red color. The pigment oxidized in air and saw dusts take first dark purple, then dark bluish and almost black colors. Black fabric valued highly and was expensive. Shades looked quite differently in different textures tissue.

Portraits of ladies in luxurious black dresses made Spanish painter of the XVII century Diego Velazquez famous. By the way, he distinguished around 50 nuances of black color.

Everything began to change with the advent of new colors that have become more accessible and …. popular. But in the 18th century there was a strange phenomenon among the fashion people. In particular, the men began to dress brightly, and they became known as the dandy. But not for long. With the advent of the next century, factories began production of clothing, and it has become the same. Besides, the Victorian era has turned black in the male uniform, mandatory for costume.

For 500 years, the black color in clothes meant the loss. In Europe and America, black was the color of mourning. People wore black to the funeral and after the death of a loved one. This custom originated in the royal family and aristocratic circles in grief sign. In the end, mourning dress became fashionable among people who want to emulate the elite.

In 1930-s of XX century, due to the development of black and white film, black is becoming the most popular color. Recall the famous black dress of Audrey Hepburn in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany” (1961). It turned the heads of millions of women. This stunning cocktail dress – creation by Hubert de Givenchy.

The passion for an even color with the advent of color film and photo violated punk movement in England, the mid-70s, and then the wave of craze rock and rock-n-roll. The representatives of this movement were dressed in black, casting a shadow over the entire European fashion. So black descended into the underground and became a symbol of asocial. After the rockers went Bakers, metallers, goths, and emo …

Black color in Fashion History