1300–1400 in fashion

Fashion in fourteenth century Europe was marked by the beginning of a period of experimentation with different forms of clothing. Costume historian James Laver suggests that the mid-14th century marks the emergence of recognizable "fashion" in clothing,[1] in which Fernand Braudel concurs.[2] The draped garments and straight seams of previous centuries were replaced by curved seams and the beginnings of tailoring, which allowed clothing to more closely fit the human form. Also, the use of lacing and buttons allowed a snugger fit to clothing.[3] In the course of the century the length of female hem-lines progressively reduced, and by the end of the century it was fashionable for men to omit the long loose over-garment of previous centuries (whether called tunic, kirtle, or other names) altogether, putting the emphasis on a tailored top that fell a little below the waist—a silhouette that is still reflected in men's costume today.[4] From this century onwards Western fashion changes at a pace quite unknown to other civilizations, whether ancient or contemporary.[5] In most other cultures only major political changes, such as the Muslim conquest of India, produced radical changes in clothing, and in China, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire fashion changed only slightly over periods of several centuries.[6] The French court during the minority and illness of Charles VI, filled with ambitious princes with a taste for luxury, was a fountain of innovation in fashion.[7] Italian clothing was led by the Visconti cou t in Milan. Wool was the most important material for clothing, due to its numerous favorable qualities, such as the ability to take dye and its being a good insulator.[8] This century saw the beginnings of the Little Ice Age, and glazing was rare, even for the rich (most houses just had wooden shutters for the winter). Trade in textiles continued to grow throughout the century, and formed an important part of the economy for many areas from England to Italy. Clothes were very expensive, and employees, even high-ranking officials, were usually supplied with, typically, one outfit per year, as part of their remuneration. Mary de Bohun wears an ermine-lined mantle tied with red strings. Her servant wears a mi-parti tunic. From an English psalter, 1380–85 14th century Italian silk damasks Woodblock printing of cloth was known throughout the century, and was probably fairly common by the end;[9] this is hard to assess as artists tended to avoid trying to depict patterned cloth due to the difficulty of doing so. Embroidery in wool, and silk or gold thread for the rich, was used for decoration. Edward III established an embroidery workshop in the Tower of London, who presumably produced the robes he and his Queen wore in 1351 of red velvet "embroidered with clouds of silver and eagles of pearl and gold, under each alternate cloud an eagle of pearl, and under each of the other clouds a golden eagle, every eagle having in its beak a Garter with the motto hony soyt qui mal y pense embroidered thereon."