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Fashion 's King Louis XIV eloper A Fashion Dev

Charushila Garat, Lecturer, Govt. Residential Woman's Polytechnic, Yavatmal

Sarita Raut, Lecturer, Sasmira's Institute of Man Made Textiles, Mumbai INTRODUCTION More than just a designer whim, fashion is a reflection of the social, political, economic and artistic forces. The changing times that evolve from these forces, enlighten us of the historical events as poignantly as textbooks, journals or periodicals. In the 17th century, people belonged to two main classes: the wealthy landowners and the poor labourers or farmers. Since wealth was concentrated in the landowning class, these people were the only ones who could afford to wear fashionable clothes. Royalty, at the top of both the social and economic ladders, set trends while other members of the aristocracy followed their example to gain approval. From history, we find out one legend aristocrat and a fashion developer, LOUIS XIV, born at St. Germainen-Laye on September 16th 1638. He became King of France when he succeeded his father Louis XIII in 1643. During the King's minority, the discontented nobles encouraged by Spain, sought to shake off the authority of the Crown, and the civil war of the Fronde arose. The Fronde was not a singular attack, as the French Wars of Religion had only just ended in 1598. The French wars had lasted for thirty years and been predominantly a civil war. They had shaken the king's appearance of strength, especially to the rest of Europe. Due to this instability in which the monarchy was embroiled in, Louis XIV turned to fashion and its historic significance to control the nobility and express his power. KING LOUIS XIV'S CONTRIBUTION IN FASHION DEVELOPMENT Louis XIV increased and emphasized fashion's importance by making it a part of social decree and

July - September 2012

Textile Value Chain increasing rather than belittling its cost. It has been debated whether or not Louis stressed fashion to the extent he did in order to throw the nobles into debt, to distract them from scheming or for an entirely different motive. However, the general consensus places his motivations atleast partly on an attempt to send as many nobles as possible into debt. It has also been argued that Louis had to pay for any debt his nobles acquired and therefore would not want to encourage it. Despite these disagreements, it is evident that Louis was attempting to control the nobility and fashion had a hand in it. Unlike many courts in Europe in past and present, Louis required a different code of dress for each formal event. In most countries, one code was set for all occasions in order to keep clothing inexpensive, whereas Louis's system sent many into bankruptcy. One such festivity, which was extremely expensive, was the Carrousel, where various groups of nobles came clad in the most splendid costumes they could design. If bankruptcy was Louis's intent, he used fashion in events like these to cause it. Debt led to constraints and Louis named the terms of

King Louis XIV these limitations, thereby making him the most important and most powerful. Louis would stage expensive festivals; elaborate balls followed by exquisite parties and require

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July- Sep 2014, Volume 1. Issue 2  

textile magazine

July- Sep 2014, Volume 1. Issue 2  

textile magazine

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