The Interrelationships of Costume and Armor

The Interrelationships of Costume and Armor

By Stephen V. Grancsay

Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 8, no. 6 ( 1950)

Introduction: During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance dress was much more an aesthetic matter than it is today, and the designing of clothes occupied the attention of leading artists. Another difference from modern custom is that men, not women, were the innovators of fashion. It is with the styles and adornment of clothes and armor that this article is mainly concerned-a subject with so many facets that one can only touch lightly on it in the Bulletin.

Armor was a development of dress. Armor and costume were always worn together, and it was inevitable that their forms and ornamentation should influence each other. This close relationship is presented convincingly and effectively in one section of the current exhibition Adam in the Looking Glass, in the Costume Institute, where there has been assembled an extraordinary collection of rare costumes, armor, and illustrated documents which show how features of material, style, and ornamentation passed from one to the other.

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