Clothing in Dubrovnik in the 16th Century – A Reflection of a Multicultural Center

Clothing in Dubrovnik in the 16th Century – A Reflection of a Multicultural Center

By Katarina Nina Simončič

Paper given at the 3rd Global Conference: Fashion – Exploring Critical Issues (2011)

Abstract: In the 16th century Dubrovnik was a mercantile harbour town that was influenced by the culture of the East and the culture of the West. The multiculturality was evident in a vast array of different styles of clothing – Florentine, Venetian, Parisian. Through the centuries shapes, colours, and raw materials of the East and of the West were assimilated and the unique fashion of Dubrovnik was created. It is inevitable to mention that the infulence of the heritage is evident even today in modern Dubrovnik. There were laws of clothing inside the walls of Dubrovnik that were influenced by both social and religious elements which marked the clothing for both genders. At the same time the clothing was a sign of social status of a noble, a citizen, and a commoner.

This paper will focus on several starting points to achieve a succesful reconstruction of particular clothing styles of Rennesaince period Dubrovnik. It will discuss trade routes and towns of East and West that had influenced fashion in Dubrovnik. It will present and analyse the archive material as well as rare preserved fragments of textiles, and visual artworks of that time. All the cultures that had influenced fashion in the 16th century Dubrovnik with their economic, social, and religious aspects will be stated.

This paper will try to determine if the fashion influence was one-sided or did certain clothing elements from Dubrovnik establish themselves in European fashion context.

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