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Fashion Styles of the Italian and Northern Renaissance

            The Italian Renaissance was influenced by many cross-cultural influences resulting from political conflicts and alliances between Italian city-states and from other influencing countries such as Spain and France. Fashion were derived from an International Gothic style in the first part of the era, though became influenced by French and Burgundian areas as well. Italian styles differed from the rest of northern Europe specifically evident within clothing cut and fabric usage. Italian Weavers produced elaborate brocades, velvets and other decorated textiles. The spirit of the Renaissance was marked by a development in the arts, learning, and literature. The economic climate brought a system of social class that related directly to the usage and quality of certain fabrics as textile production became an important theme. Fashion was influenced cross culturally within the 16th century as Italy was overrun by Spanish, French, and Austrian influence. .
             Within the other parts of Europe within the Northern Renaissance, fashion played an even more important role. Styles originated within each country and spread from one to the other through communication, especially through reading books that featured new styles of dress. New technology such as lacemaking and knitting created more decorative and ornate touches to garments. Fashion continued to be influences cross culturally from the East through gifting and trading. Social standards and religious dress were highly enforced within Spain creating more rigid styles that spread throughout the north. In the first part of the century fashion was generally influenced from Germany and Italy, then as the century progressed Spanish styles were adopted. There are very clear differences within costume styles between the Northern and Italian Renaissance. On the other hand, there were certain instances in which one influenced the other. These comparisons can be made within garment styles, accessories, footwear, hair and hat styles, and distinctive regional dress.

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