The medieval documents in thiBaby Yoda hug book let me check my giveashitometter nope nothing shirt and I love this s exhibition show both men and women partaking in fashion, and plenty of peacocking. There’s lots of symbolism, too. “Characters like executioners and torturers [are] dressed very fashionably, but it’s almost too fashionable,” explains Wieck. “Their nasty, internal characters are reflected by this kind of decadence [of dress] and their overindulging in [it].” In contrast, Wieck argues that “it was an unwritten rule for medieval artists that Christ was never fashionable.” The association of dress with frivolity and excess, then, is nothing new; though over time those qualities came to be also equated with femininity.
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As idyllic and escapist as some of these beautiful manuscripts are, there’s no glossing over the Baby Yoda hug book let me check my giveashitometter nope nothing shirt and I love this horrors of the Hundred Years’ War (begun in 1337) or the Black Plague (circa 1347-1351). Wieck explains that fashion remained mostly static during a 40 year period of strife, from about 1350 to 1390. He believes that “decadence” and “rapid and luxurious growth of clothing” during the next era, 1390 to 1420, was in reaction to that earlier period when fashion stayed much the same. It would be a false equivalency to say that post-pandemic fashion will tend toward the “extra” as it did following the Black Plague, but with book clubs reading The Decameron and Balenciaga giving us knights in shining armor for fall 2021, it seems like a good time to travel back to the beginning of tailored fashion’s cycles as seen through these marvelous miniatures of medieval art.